She was a collector. A saver. A pack rat.
She saved the smell of bubble gum breath and cinnamon-scented hair, of coconut detangler and Vicks Vaporub. She stockpiled the feel of soft, tiny toes pressed gently against her lips. Of monkey-like legs wrapped around her waist.
She had a impressive collection of uppies and lay-with-mes and an infinite number of one-two-three-whees. She saved snippets of tiny tea cups clinked and plastic swords clanked. She saved bits of superheroes saving the day and puppet animals saying goodnight. She treasured her savings of sounding out words. Of listening to decoding, while praising and celebrating.
She held on to a handful of magical moments when elfs delivered and unicorns pranced. When fairies flew and night lights protected. She pocketed those times when the moon was bewitching and all of the rocks and shells were exquisite treasures.
She continued to make room for her growing conglomerate, clearing space for the feel of a small back underneath her fingertips. For the rinsing of strawberry shampoo out of long brown hair. For the tug in her chest that happened every time she noticed an indication of growth.
She squirreled away giggles and super silly faces. She kept her favorite misnomers and mispronunciations. Buckle seat instead of seat belt. Libary instead of library. She kept a lake full of tears and an assemblage of carefully bandaged wounds. She had a special place for small fingers that gripped her hands and skinny arms that wrapped around her neck.
She cherished her collection, even those things that were beginning to grow dust. She moved them around at times, brushing off some of the grit, yet she was aware that many of her goods were soon-to-be antiques.
Even when her stock appeared to be full, she continued to squirrel away more and more moments. She couldn’t help it. She was a hoarder.