This is How I Know I Love You
Of course, there are many ways: the way my whole body splits into joy when you throw your arms around my neck. The way the sound of you singing splits the parts of me that have already been split into finer and more radiant halves. I look for me in your face: I see my mother, a photo of her as a young girl in a frilly white dress. Every day I run my fingers through your hair, which is my hair on you, and I feel gratitude, that we can be dark and braided together, curls springing up at our temples and the base of our necks when the air is thick. I look at you in the almost dark, of course, and I can't believe how beautiful you are, that you are mine.
It is an obvious love, mother love. I've written so little about it this second time, with you, my second child, because it feels as natural as waking.
But tonight, you and your brother sleeping, I padded through the dimly lit kitchen searching for a snack. There in the fruit bowl was one perfect peach, pink and gold, just a little softness between my fingers. I washed it. Sweetness rose up from its skin. And I remembered how I cut a peach for you this morning, and how you forgot everything else on your tray--bananas, and Cherrios, and a few bites of egg. That orange fruit was all you could see. "More," you kept saying. "More." And you laughed. And I laughed, the joy splitting and splitting, the sound bouncing off each piece.
Loving you is as natural as waking. But it still surprises me: that I get to feel this. Your arms around my neck. Your breath in my hair. I taste that peach even before, tomorrow, you place it in your mouth.