these fall days

what I want to remember

about these first seven weeks in fall

we spent as a family

from dawn to dusk and all night long

in the infamous year 2020

are the long walks we took along the river

or through the forest

or to the nearby café Mathilde.

our mornings with cuddles and kisses between the sheets,

sitting around a lavish breakfast table,

dancing to Pretty Woman, just daughter and dad.

our singing sessions with real nursery rhymes

in English and German and Dutch

or with invented phrases and stanzas and melodies.

all the laundry we did

with all your tiny little cloth nappies,

and the perpetually full drying rack in the bathroom,

and all the folding sessions on our bed.

you first smiles and giggles and grunts.

all the family members and friends

that came to visit and witness

just how cute you are

and how comfy our attic nest feels

and how eagerly we talk about our experiences

especially with rain knocking on all the windows

and tea being served for all.

your aunts and grandparents in old roles

and your aunts and grandparents in new roles

marvelling at you,

holding you close,

loving you lots.

all the cards and gifts and phone calls and messages and prayers.

all the times we cried

because of hormones

and not being able to believe

just how lucky we are.

all the times we fell in love

with you and each other

over and over again.

and I want to remember

that I missed work and my colleagues every day.

that our apartment grew too small by the minute.

that life around us seemed to move faster than we did.

that COVID was a reality, still and always.

that the US campaign was well underway.

that Belarusian people were bravely fighting for freedom.

that Brexit was still being negotiated.

that the youth was trying to save our planet.

that so much was happening everywhere and all the time

and that every day,

I took time and consciousness

to savour the moments with you,

because out of seven weeks grow seven years

and all of the sudden,

you will be gone,

adventuring through the world

without us.

But for now,

it’s fall

and until then,

it’s family time.

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