Not a Single Photograph

by nicolecallihan

Today, Eva, your Grandpappy and your Mimi both turn another year older, and I want to take photographs of you with a thousand cupcakes or you in a sea of candles; of you with your watercolor eyelids and your seashell ears and your cupid’s bow mouth, your ten pink toes and your ten tiny fingers. I want the photograph of you in the park the other day when you felt your first Oklahoma breeze, of you last night when I told you to look at all those stars, of this morning’s smile, this moment’s sleep. I want the one where your Mimi rocked you to sleep on the covered porch of the house she married in; I want the one where you gave your very first smile to your Grandpappy as he sang you Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on Christmas Day. Every moment I want to capture. There are days when I wonder why we live so far away; days when I think, oh, we could live just up the hill from your Mimi and Grandad, just around the bend from your Grandma & Grandpa, down the street from your Poppy, right next door to Nana. Today’s one of those days. We’d make homemade frosting, and I could put a little on your nose, and we wouldn’t have to take a single photograph because Mimi would be right there stirring the batter of her own cake and Grandpappy would be strumming a ditty on his ukulele. The house would be all cake and love and light and goodness, and everyone could say, This is the best birthday ever. Just because we’re all here together. And they’d be right.