i will save time, littlest brother. i will wrap it up and put it into a box to mature, like a rare cheese only for you and me.
on the day that you come to me and want to know what it was like before mom left because you won't remember, i will open our box and show you.
first i will take out a lock of mom's blonde hair that used to fall down to her waist and i will tell you what it looked like in the sunshine while we made daisy chains. i will tell you how it turned brown later on and how mom let me sit on her bed and twist, twist, twist for hours, because i didn't know how to braid. and how me and Erika sat in front of the space heater and dried off after a bath mom crocheting on the bed, singing.
then i will remove from our box a crisp, shriveled leaf from the Big Tree and i will let you smell it. i will say, this is what home smells like... never forget, littlest brother. i will sit you on my lap and paint you pictures with my fingers i will reveal to you little indian huts and smoky firepits and *****, chipped toes.
lastly i will steal from time and will take from our box, what is rightfully ours and i will give you the last shred that i have saved for so long... just for you, littlest brother. i will give you mom and dad together. happy. i will give you mom and dad in their funky, attic-smelling bathing suits mom's tummy protruding with another older sister for you standing on the hot stones dad's big, funny glasses glinting in the sun, a sun that shown down on something whole something perfect. i will give you mom and dad snuggled under a blanket on the couch watching a movie together mom giving dad 'the look' as he chuckles...
littlest brother, i will do all i can to create memories for you... because everyone deserves to remember something happy... littlest brother, i will steal from time all i can all for you... until time decides to take back what is rightfully his.