Please don’t ever let me forget the feel of Briar’s tiny hand in mine.

Let me always hold onto the smell of Avery’s hair. The sensation of her cheek pressing into mine. The way her chin is always so cool against my face.

I want to remember the feel of holding them close to my chest. Little hands clutching and stroking my side and breast as they pressed their faces to me to nurse. The delicious twinge of pain washing over me as my body let go of the milk it created to nourish them.

Help me to capture the sound of their sighs as they shift beneath the covers as I tuck them in at night.

Don’t allow the quirks of their early language to slip through the cracks in my memory. Save the ‘wenaks’ and ‘hollyghosts’ for the nights when they no longer sleep down the hall. Let me use a can opener and hear the echo of Briar’s little voice saying, “mommy drive it.”

Freeze the images of Avery attacking each developmental stage in pursuit of Briar. I want to remember that Briar fought the introduction of cereal and baby food, while Avery met the challenge with such zeal.

Don’t let the memories bleed so that we forget the miracle of the two deliveries. The nurse who took my hand and said, “You are going to feel the need to push and then we are going to deliver this baby,” followed by 20 minutes of hard, diligent pushing and then cheering. And the nurse who said, “You just breath it away each time you contract,” followed by much more than 20 minutes and many more ‘just breath it aways,” and a look of disappointment when I whispered I needed help. And how having each girl handed to me felt like catching a shooting star.

I beg you to help me hold onto this enchanting and fleeting time in our lives.

Let us remember these days of love and learning, before the cruelties of life intervene and allow for bullying, broken hearts and different time zones.

Help us to remember how close to the surface these two creatures brought our deepest emotions. How alive each moment feels.

And please, help me to spend each of the rest of my days living up to the honor of being their Mom.