Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I see you at the bookends of the day. Which are not always my finest hours.

In the morning, I make your lunch. My hands move slow through an aura thick with the frustration of fractured sleep.

I'm trying something new. Nutella sandwich! With the edges crimped with this cool crimping thing! 

You wrinkle your nose and declare you won't try it. Because it's a sandwich. 

I am exasperated. You wouldn't try dinner last night either.

Okay fine, you can have plain bread then. I'm sort of sarcastic. And not proud of my tone. But I don't shut my mouth.

Without butter, even? You're plaintive now.

With butter then. Fine. But I don't understand why you won't. Ever. Eat. Anything. You love Nutella. You love bread. I just don't understand. I wield the butter knife with more pressure than it requires and nearly tear the bread. Now you probably won't eat it because it has a hole in it. I pack it anyway.

You're touchy all morning.  So am I.

I walk you to the bus stop. You perk up when that yellow vessel starts roaring up the hill. Your eyes are watering a little because of the cold {they've always watered in the cold}. This morning's obstinance is melting quickly and you tell me to have a good day and that you love me.

I love you, too. Now I'm melting into a shivery puddle.


It's bedtime. I put the baby in her crib but she's screaming and I'm pulling my hair out. Your bedtime books are longer than ones I would have picked out and all I can think about is how much work I have to get done after you're finally in bed and it seems like you'll never get there and I'll never get to start so I can finish, too.

I read with less enthusiasm than I would like to hear if I was the one listening. I hope the pictures make up for whatever my voice lacks tonight.

I usher you toward bed and as you lay down you start coughing. Here we go is all I can think. I'm so sick of night coughing. Mine. Yours. Theirs. I kiss you goodnight and close the door. Knowing full well that it will open again.

Fifteen minutes later you're still coughing and I come in to offer you some tea and honey and a cough drop sucker. You're turned the other way.

I rest my forehead on your bed frame for a moment, wondering if you're just coughing in your sleep, and you turn quickly to look at me. Sleep is lodged in your eyes but they're wide and searching my face.

I instantly think of your newborn days. When I would hold you and walk you and rock you but your eyes were big and black in the night. Open. Never crying. Just watching. I'm not sure why I didn't just lay you down. 

Did I wake you?

Yah, I felt the bed move.

You accept my remedies but you remind me of a melted version of yourself. Soft and calm where you usually rail and resist. You also look like a wiser version of myself. Quiet and watching where I would fluster and spin and throw my hands in the air.

You're asleep again in minutes. But I wonder what you're dreaming. What all that watching has etched behind your eyes.

I hope the picture you're recording of me is something warm. Human, yes. Flawed, of course. But I hope you see how much I love you even though I let little things boil my blood and shoot steam out of my ears.

And I hope you see that I'm trying to be better. Trying to melt. For you. And for me.