Pattu says, “Amma, Ammu has a crush on M.”
Ammu blushes a deep red. Then I ask Pattu “Do you still crush on L?”
Pattu blushes deep red.
Ammu tells Pattu “M is just a friend. Not a crush!”
Pattu persists until Ammu relents “His name starts with C”
We all take turns guessing until she names him. The twins move on from talking about crushes to listening to music. I am smiling long past the conversation enjoying the innocence and the sight of those coy faces.
This morning I am at the stove when Pattu bounds down the stairs. She is unusually energetic for having just gotten up.
“Alexa, Play It Can’t Be Over,” she commands. Alexa complies and the song fills the air with teenagery angst. I hum along feeling the feels and for an instant go back to my teenage and young adult crushes. I wonder how much more I would have ‘lived’ my life if I had realized none of it mattered, if I had know that hearts get broken, the sadness fades and all that lingers is a pleasant aftertaste.
I look back on the years and feel a regret for moments not stolen, feelings that went unexpressed, friendships that never were to be. I wonder what it would have been like if I had kept diaries from then. Would they have boasted sweet nothings? Would there have been tear-stained pages from a broken heart? Would I have written paeans to the ones that held my tender heart? Would I have pined in silence?
I am back to the present with shrieks of joy emanating from the second floor of the house. The twins and their sister are now playing with stuffed animals. They crawl around neighing and I pause and watch.
I wonder if the years will be kind to them. I wonder if we will share this openness in the years to come. Most of all I wonder if I can be woke enough to understand and make them understand that all of it passes and advice them to make the most of it.
Will I be able to remember to tell them “Live a little”?