I begin to tuck them in.
Lift covers up to the first little chin, shift hair, the color of my own, off his sweet forehead, and kiss pink cheeks.
I lean over his sister, the final goodnight of our bedtime routine, and they are already climbing out.
Tell us “The Baby Story” Mommy.
My heart smiles as I gather them in my lap.
I thought they would never ask…
Once upon a time Mommy’s tummy was so big.
It was so, SO big.
It was so big because there were THREE babies in Mommy’s tummy.
And who were those babies in Mommy’s tummy?
We tick off my fingers together…
Parker, McKenna and Hadley.
Well Parker, McKenna and Hadley were so squished.
They were so, SO squished.
I squeeze them until their cheeks flush together. They laugh through baby teeth and puckered lips.
They were so squished that Parker said, “Let us OUT!”
I let them go, tumbling into a pile of giggles.
So the doctors opened up Mommy’s tummy and out came McKenna and then Parker and then Hadley.
Daddy looked at those babies and said, “I love you McKenna. I love you Parker. I love you Hadley.”
But Parker, McKenna and Hadley were so tiny.
They were so, SO tiny that they had to go to the special baby nursery.
Mommy and Daddy went to see Parker and McKenna and Hadley every day.
Every day we would hold you and love you and feed you and rock you.
And one day the doctor called Mommy and said, “Guess what Mommy? McKenna can come home!”
Mommy was so, so happy and she brought McKenna right home.
And then, a few days later the doctor called Daddy and said, “Guess what Daddy? Parker can come home too!”
Daddy was so, so happy and he brought Parker right home.
Mommy and Daddy were so happy to have Parker and McKenna home right before Christmas time because we loved them SO much.
Every day we would hold you and love you and squeeze you and kiss you.
Parker and McKenna got bigger and bigger.
They got so big that now they are…
Faces twist in concentration, using both hands to convince three little fingers to stand tall, they hold them up to my watering eyes.
THREE! They shout.
So proud, so happy,
just to be alive.
I kiss the tops of three year-old heads.
Content with their story, heavy eyelids droop to close.
Tiptoeing to the door I take a deep breath, and wish there was a happily ever after.
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