George

The still.

Constricting my chest,

That’s all I can take.

Not the clip.

(Privilege).

I cannot bear to watch

the life

slip

out his lips.

(Privilege).

And then to find out

an eyewitness is

nine.

To cast my eyes downward,

Cowardly

Privilege.

I’m Used to Crying

I’m used to crying. Mad crying when I say it’s time to get dressed, go to bed, use the toilet in the house instead of the bamboo in the backyard.

I’m used to crying. Painful crying when someone topples off the stool, belly flops on the hardwood floor, flips backward off the bed.

I’m used to crying. Sad crying when baby spends the night at the car repair shop, dessert is canceled, the picture is ruined.

I’m used to crying. Just not the broken-hearted, my-best-friend’s-moving kind.

The Toot Fairy

“Whooooo hooo hoo, Alright!” I heard my husband exclaim from inside the house.

Shortly after that, the back storm door protested loudly and slammed behind tiny footsteps, “Mom! Mom!”

“Out here!”

My daughter pushed at the stubborn gate until it gave way and she found me raking out a flower bed in the side yard, “Look!” she yelled, holding in her hand a nearly invisible baby tooth.

“Whoa! It came out!”

“Yeah. I just forgot about it and bit into my strawberry and it and, yeah,” she threw her hands up.

We headed inside to swish with some salt water and put her tooth in a safe place.

This will be the tooth fairy’s second visit in a week. My daughter is beginning to like this little woman and so decided to write her a note. Tonight, its all dreams of flitting fairies and charm. Tomorrow, it’s all blends and digraphs practice.

Trying this Backward Writing Thing…

Today my six year old daughter gathered these gorgeous daffodils for us.

Last spring she plucked just the flower heads to present to me.

The spring before that, she ripped the petals to add to her muddy stew.

The spring before that, she tentatively tasted one.

The spring before that, she trampled them, unconcerned with her surroundings.

The spring before that, she sat by them in the warm sunshine while I weeded the garden.

The spring before that, she smelled them for the first time as I waved them in front of her brand new nose.

…In what will seem to be just a few short tomorrows, she’ll be clutching them down the aisle.

Alright, Alright, Alright.

I’m seriously sliding into Spring Break mode, channeling my inner Matthew McConaughey.

You know…

Accidentally clicking on the work email app then frantically hitting the home key.

Helping the little one make stew with the pantry ingredients.

Not picking up the 67 toys on the floor.

Blaring Jayden Smith at 8:08.

What, you’re not partying like its 1993?

It’d be a lot cooler if you did.

The Skeptic

“But I can’t read it by myself, Mommy,” she pleads. She is in her crib, refusing a book, determined to prolong this bedtime routine. I take the bait anyway.

“Yes you can. Just read the pictures – tell what’s happening, like this,” I proceed to demonstrate how to read the pictures of a Berenstain Bears book that she could probably recite by heart.

“But that’s. not. reading.”

Enter the Kindergartener.

“Georgia! You can read it,” she continues in her best teacher voice, ” Look carefully at the pictures and then just tell what is happening in the story.”

Georgia remains unconvinced. She hangs her head and mumbles, “One day when I be in kindergarten, maybe I can read too.”

Ellie is pleased as punch that her sister admires her new skill.

“Goodnight little readers. goodnight.”

Reaching

“Mom, can you say ‘I didn’t know you could reach all the way back there’?”

My two year old is stretched over the back seat of the truck, her toes briefly losing contact with the seat. I stand patiently in the rain for her to get into her freaking her car seat already. This phrase about her reaching ability is one I’m asked to repeat almost daily since the first time I said it.

What she’s reaching for is a box. Specifically a box earmarked for the donation center. But every time I utter that reaching phrase, a single item from the box worms it’s way into the back seat and shortly after that, wriggles all the way back to the house.

And still I stand in the rain. Not just to avoid a potential meltdown, but because at least that box is full of books.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

And you walk on

The day, it’s fine.

Sunshine, Some warmth,

Taking your kid to school.

And somewhere else,

For someone else,

Tragedy.

And you walk on.

You get the text.

A sliver of their grief,

Lands on your chest,

And you walk on.

Photo by Rahul Shah on Pexels.com

The Almost Post

I almost wrote an acceptance speech tonight on behalf of myself and my husband for winning the parents of the night award. Because (bow to the left, bow to the right) we didn’t lose our shit on our child. Hardly even once.

After the whining,

Then crying,

Then bawling,

because of a play she wanted to put on that couldn’t happen right then.

That her two-year-old sister wouldn’t cooperate in.

That she hadn’t actually planned.

That’s what I almost wrote.

But then at bedtime I pulled out her writing journal to read her stories with her.

So instead, I’ll brag.

My kid is a writer. Who makes me laugh.

No Sleep till Brooklyn

Like many quarantiners, my kids have only seen my parents through a computer screen for over a year. But now Grandma and Grandpa are fully vaccinated. And so am I.

The countdown began when I was sure it was gonna happen.

“Girls, guess what? Two sleeps till we get to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house!”

“But where do they live?” the little one asked. She’s spent a third of her life without them in real life.

After one sleep, she popped up and with her hair all askew and declared, “That was a sleep. Are we going to Grandma and Grandpa’s now?”

The next morning it was the big one who called me from her bed at 6am with a long stretched out monotone, “Moooom. Moooom. Moooom.”

“Yes, honey, what is it?” I stood at her doorway and quickly crossed the room to her bed when my morning fog cleared and I realized it might be something serious.

“Are we going to wear masks with Grandma and Grandpa?”

I smiled, “Yeah, we will, just to be careful.”

A few hours of excitement later, we were chanting “Grand-ma! Grand-pa!” and were out the door.

The visit was as fulfilling as I imagined. Hugs. Love. Closeness. Good food and giggles.

As we drove away, I said, “That was so good to see Grandma and Grandpa, wasn’t it?”

“It was soooooo good,” emphasized the big one, “I think I’ll call them when we get home to see if anything’s happened in the last 25 minutes.”

Turns out a year of computer visits hasn’t changed a thing.