Ninety-Nine Red Baboons Go By

We came home from a party last night double-fisting the treats. A cup full of favors and a balloon for each.

Just as Dani won't take her eyes off her treasure, won't let go for a second, I'm holding on to something too.

I'm holding on to the way she calls it a "red baboon", to the way she begs to put on her "swimming soup", and to how she calls me "Mama" like she's still my baby.

They played with the balloons until bedtime and from waking until breakfast, from breakfast and beyond. "Baboon" wars are being waged as I type. But no matter how tightly they clutch the string, the balloons won't be airborne for much longer.

The balloons shrink, and my babies grow.

And soon baboons will be balloons, soups will be suits, and mama will be mother.

But for now, we all hold on to our red baboons.

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