Two Mays ago I walked this same path, with you inside.
Waiting and wishing, wondering who you were.
Up until that point you were just a series of hiccups, kicks and punches. All I could do was compare you- you were not yet yourself.
I waited in eager anticipation, walking this same path, talking to you in my mind all the while as the sun shone through the canopy of branches overhead.
As the ferns burst through the cold, damp ground, and the apple blossoms bloomed, I walked with you. Stopping to lower my bursting belly down toward the ground to pick the Mayflowers in the mossy forest ditches, I would smile, thinking of you, as I filled my two hands with their fragrant pink buds.
And while I pondered my growing family I’d reflect.
My mother has always had an affinity for Mayflowers, and her mother before her. We were three generations now, turning into four, with a romantic notion for waddling into the muck to brush off dead pine needles and crusty autumn leaves, unearthing the sacred flower’s hidden blooms. Picking Mayflowers unearthed our connection to each other.
And so it came around full circle.
It’s May again now, and I find myself here once more, but this year with you by my side. This time, rather than nestled in a cozy slumber on my chest as it were last year, you are an active treasure seeker, running ahead of me in the soggy forest floor.
This year you have mud on your face, in your nails and on your knees. This year you have a dandelion, a pinecone and a stick in your clutch. But your collection started with two Mayflowers.
Millie Bee, two years ago I didn’t know your name or your sex. I couldn’t picture your round face when I closed my eyes, and I couldn’t hear your voice calling my name.
I didn’t know who you were at all, and I couldn’t imagine where we’d put you.
I’ve since found you are home when your hand is in mine, walking this same path. I’m nostalgic for my May baby, but today you are my baby no more.