Musings on “May Have Been”

“Mommy…whatcha dooooooin’?”

Your sing-songy voice and the word “doing” taking a full whole note to say. You’d hold Lovey on your left shoulder; your elbow up in the air, flopping your bare feet on the floor as you walked toward me. This always meant you were bored and wondered “what next?”

I wonder if you’d still be doing that. Would you still have Lovey everywhere you went, or would he be strictly for night-time now? Would he be invited to sleepovers or would he be settled among a thousand other stuffies on your bed? Would you roll your eyes at me when I’d insist you make up the bed and YES, that meant putting every animal back on every morning if you insist on keeping them there!

My friend Erin wondered about her angel, baby Ben (as he’s lovingly called in my house.) “Would you have liked cherry tomatoes? Would you have shadowed me on warm summer evenings, eating them out of the bowl as fast as I could pick them like your sisters did? Or would you be suspicious of these warm, slightly dusty marbles the way you were suspicious of blueberries”…and I got to thinking.

Who would you be today? What might a six-year-old Kate be like?

Would you watch me put on my make up? Would you ask questions about the silly face I made when I put on mascara? I asked my mom…maybe you’d have asked me?

Would YOU like tomatoes? Would Grandma & Grandad’s nasty little family secret of eating them like apples sway you otherwise or would common sensibility over the squishy buggers be your inner monologue?  I don’t care for them…maybe you’d be like me?

Would you insist that Mommy bring home all of her garnish swords and paper umbrellas from fancy drinks on date nights? Would you cartwheel everywhere instead of walking? I did that when I was a little girl…maybe you would have, too?

Would you have a space in between your front teeth? Would yours grow in like Mommy’s did…or not, like Daddy? Would you have hated having your hair brushed like me? Loved camping like me? Would you let me read you Harry Potter? OH when, oh when could I have started to read you Harry Potter??

I only know you as four and a perfect four you were. I don’t know who you would have become, but when I say that you are always (always) on my mind, this is what the transcript of a day reads like. Wondering. Thinking. Musing.

About you.

My perfect, darling, remarkable four-year-old who never got to be more than four. Who never got to think tomatoes were disgusting or that make up was silly. Who never got a chance to be my perfect, darling, remarkable six-year-old.

I love you, Kate. I miss you. Best friends forever. I promise.


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