You… Both of you… are five today. You were born five years ago at 7:30pm and 7:40pm respectively. Olivia, older by 10 minutes, and then Josephine. Because you were small but healthy (5 pounds and change) you were my little “bobsledders” whose birth belied all the horror stories I read. It wasn’t until 3 1/2 years later and big-headed Violet came along that I understood the true religious importance of having a good anesthesiologist.
But I digress…
My little twinbugs. You are wondrous and exhausting and inspiring… I’ve never felt so much for so few. You are your own individuals. Proud, strong, emotional, demanding, lovely, intelligent.
And because the vigorous beauty of all the words aren’t spoken well by me, I’ll quote instead my favorite poet Pablo Neruda, who surely wrote this poem for you — from me.
I do not love you… by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.