A round-trip ticket to colorfully sketched places

You don’t know me yet, but you will.

You’re going to know me as the one who makes cookies and lets you lick the spoon, the one who tells funny stories about your mom, and the one who gets wrinkles at the corners of her eyes when she laughs.

I hope you love my cookies and my stories, and even the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes.

Because I’m going to love everything about you.

I’ve been around for a really long time, and I’ve seen a lot of things this world has to offer; but I have a feeling none of those things will hold a candle to you.

 You don’t know me yet, but I’ve been waiting for you.

I am a box full of stories representing hours of bedtime snuggles and rainy-day cuddles. Stories your mom could recite by heart that meant more to her than words on a page, more like a round-trip ticket to colorfully sketched places, places she could visit from the safety of the lap that was formed as I sat in the rocker in her bedroom.

I am a basket of stuffed animals that haven’t been hugged in years, just waiting for you to come along and put them to work as sailors on a Viking ship, or soldiers on a battlefield, or children in a schoolhouse, or whatever you find them most suited for.

I am the key to your past, and you are the hope for my future. I am three channels that sign off at midnight, and you are On-Demand, Netflix, and Hulu. I am leaving the front door unlocked, and you are headlines that make me want to hold you close. I am older than the sun (at least you will think so), and you are newer than the snow that hasn’t even begun to fall.

This is all very new to me, this watching and waiting from a distance. When I waited so long for your mom, I was on the front lines. I felt every kick, yet I had no idea how things would change. Now you are a mystery, but I know very well, so I watch.

And I wait.

I will be here for your mom when she needs an extra hand or an ear that will listen and understand. The days can be long and the nights can be dark, and don’t I remember those pitch-black nights.

I’ll be here for you when you don’t even know how deeply you need to know there’s another place besides home in this world where you are fully loved and completely safe, a place with cookies and stories and a woman with wrinkles at the corners of her eyes when she laughs.

You won’t need me every day, but whenever you do, I’ll be here

watching and waiting

for you.

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