A while back I wrote about a freckle on Avery’s leg. Tonight it’s Briar’s freckle.

Sean noticed things about me very early on in our relationship that mystified me. The things I thought were my most appealing qualities were not what drew him to me. He noticed what he called my fang, an eye tooth that from time to time gets ever so slightly caught on my lip. He would comment when it would make its impish appearance, stuck in a smile. I would try to hide it by shifting my lips, but stuck it would stay. My face would burn, my stomach fluttering and always a little catch in my throat. It took a couple of times for me to realize that it wasn’t embarrassment, it was shy girl being asked to dance euphoria. It was dizzying to be watched like that.

As our courtship went on he noticed other things, like my moles. I have two. One is on my right side, just below my natural waist, the second is up and to the right of my belly button. When we stand he wraps his arm around behind me and softly slips his hand inside to rest upon my waist, lightly tapping my mole. A silent I know you like no one else. Intoxicating. Nights we’ve been in bed reading he has placed his hand on me, thumb and pinky each claiming a mole, and just that, a familiar touch. During my pregnancies he would gauge the size of my belly by the span between moles, one memorable night exclaiming “holy shit” as the span stretched beyond what his thumb and pinky could manage. Our first daughter was nearly ready to arrive.

Now, almost three years later, my waist back to thumb and pinky squeezability, I find myself revisiting first kisses and first babies as I watch our not so little girl. Beneath a string of pale, paper dragonflies, surrounded by princess pillows and bathed in the light of a beloved nightlight with swimming fish we talk. She wriggles around, lifting and rearranging her pillows until she has them just so, and then finally, she is still. I gingerly lift her nightgown, frayed and fragile from its reign as favorite bedtime outfit for more than a year. I squeeze lotion into my hand, careful to warm it before starting on her back, she sighs contentedly with the first pass of my lavender scented hand on her narrow back. I rest my head on the pillow beside her. The space between my wrist and fingertips perfectly covers her back from side to side. I sigh and in response she leans into me.

I breathe in the essence of this moment, the lotion on her skin, the fairy tale linens, the gentle sway of pink canopy as the fan makes a lazy rotation, golden curls damp along her neck. Leaning back I watch the moonlight filtering through her curtains and casting delicate shadows along the bed. One small whisper of silvery light kisses her skin, and there in the pale moonlight I see a freckle. It is almost hidden, as if seeking shelter under her arm, but not quite. I look knowing she did not come into this world with that spot.

The day will come when someone sees this spot upon her porcelain skin and declare it as their own. They’ll stand together in crowds, perhaps on a train in some far off city, and a hand will trace that shoulder, a silent I know you like no one else. She’ll have the flight of butterflies in her tummy as she stands up on tiptoe to send the bliss from head to toe. She may very well be on the way to meeting her own baby, finding freckles of her own. One day this spot will be her secret to share, her gift to another.

Tonight it’s still mine.