The Three Words I Never Want to Forget

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Photo by Sander Weeteling on Unsplash

Leaves crunching underfoot, the sun warming my chilled face, my daughter’s laughter ricocheting around the yard — it’s a memory I never want to forget. And yet, had my daughter not urged me to notice the moment — to really feel what I was experiencing — it’s likely the memory would fade away, quick as the setting autumn sun.

We are here, she said, reminding me of the fleeting nature of things like fall, a perfect afternoon, childhood.

We are here, she said, a gentle nudge to come back into the moment, to notice what I may not have otherwise.

We are here, my nearly three-year-old daughter said, reminding me that the wisdom of children is overlooked and undervalued.

I remained where my feet were planted for a moment. I looked at her and repeated what she had said.

“We are here, “ I said. “Say it with me.”

“We are here,” we said over and over again as we ran through the leaves together.

“We are here,” she said when I asked her to remind me of her words.

Before she said it, I wasn’t there, not really. My mind was adrift, thinking about what was coming next, what happened before, but not what was happening now. I had been running through the leaves with her, our shoes getting wet from the residual raindrops of the afternoon’s shower, physically — not mentally.

But she tethered me, and I was there.

I was there.

I was there.

Kolina Cicero is enamored with stories — reading them, writing them, getting lost within them. Her first children’s book, Rosie and the Hobby Farm, was published in July. For more of her work, subscribe to her weekly email.

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