Beneath the covers when the day first sets in, I’m not quite here, not quite anywhere else either. Hello, Monday. It’s already 6:03 and the night was a slapdash mess of wake ups. The teeth, they keep coming. Arched back wailing at 3:27a.m. for ten stagger-around-the-room minutes, searching for Tylenol, and then again at 5:06, too early and too late for more or better sleep.
I lie awake, face in the pillows, the thudding of my heart reverberates in my head. My breath moves my ribs up and down, up and down, but I am not here, not all of me, not yet.
Under the weight and softness of my stomach my wrist bones, carpals and metacarpals, are crumpled like soft bits of clay and as I flex my fingers, pins-and-needles set in.
Somehow our boys, both of them, are already in bed between us.
This morning I can feel the way I’m sort of pushing around at the outline of myself with my mind. Hello, day. Hello, memory. Hello, this life of mine. I feel myself begin, reluctantly to inhabit my vertebrae, lungs, buttocks, thighs; in the nick of time I roll out of the way. Bean’s at it already: making a pirate ship out of the covers. Sprout, miraculously stays asleep (of course, now after a night of it) and he is perfect, perfect, perfect here beside me. Rosy, tousled. His hair smells sweet like only him.
The day comes fast then: wooden slats of window shades pulled up; snowmelt; shower steam; the fragrant bar of French lemon soap slipping from my still slack-fingered grip; coffee. The boys are both underfoot (vacation until Wednesday) which gives new meaning to the phrase “work from home,” which is what I try valiantly to do, meeting four deadlines, non-stop screen time, CS4, phone calls, 37 emails, everything interrupted by the repetitive cacophony of BOY.
The day is gray, and the is light translucent and dull, but I like the way the thermometer climbs to 38 before 11am, and how on the south facing fields I can see bare patches where the grass pokes up. I’ve been looking at the trees for signs every day now: the buds are swelling with the secret lives of leaves that wait for chlorophyll, for sun.
Inside, the boys and I are barefoot, and I look at them and feel the fragile container of my ribs nearly snap open with the thunk-thunk-thunking of my little hammer dulcimer heart. Bean with his thin arms and messy hair and growing-in-crooked teeth and ski-jump nose, and Sprout, who has been trying to run from the minute he learned to walk and whose gait looks a wee bit like a cross between a high stepping horse and Frankenstein. Some days I hardly have words. I have two sons. I don’t think this wonder ever goes away.
And so without stopping it’s night already. We visit friends after work and arrive home late. The sink is crowded; the cat wants fresh water; the refrigerator needs to be cleaned. Instead I let the boys stay up another minute. Bean and I eat toast with cloudberry jam. Sprout carries pot lids around the room. Nonstop, there went Monday.
How was your day?
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