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Archive for September, 2014

I Just Can’t

She handed me my coffee across the counter and smiled warmly and said, “Have a good morning” and the backs of my eyes began to throb and to ache and my throat tightened and started to hurt and all I wanted to do was bury my face in my hands and cry and to tell her what a hellish morning I’ve had and how scared I am that my nine year old son won’t eat. That I had stood in the hall outside his classroom for 45 minutes watching him through the doorway, studying the way his bones poked at sharp angles through clothes that hang on his little body. That we had both cried all the way to school and I had begged and pleaded for him to drink the smoothie that he had been working on for close to two hours, and he kept saying through his tears, “I can’t mama. I’m so sorry. I just can’t.” And my six year old solemnly looked out the window, never saying a word. And how I feel like I failed them both this morning and that all I want is to somehow magically rewind the day and start it over. But instead, I reached for the coffee, thanked her and wished her a good day as well.

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He Won’t Be My Baby Much Longer

I feel the sun burning my scalp and wish I’d taken the time to pull a baseball cap from somewhere in the depths of my messy closet. I halfheartedly tug at some hair in an attempt to cover the skin exposed by my part, and lean further into the shade of the umbrella. Shielding my eyes with the back of my hand, I watch as my son is splashing in the sparkling ice blue pool, shrieking with delight at the prospect of his daddy throwing him through the late summer air and into the water again and again. He is almost 5 and he will be starting kindergarten next week. My heart is torn, wavering somewhere between cherishing these last innocent moments of summer with him, and breaking into tiny pieces at the dawning of realization that he won’t be my baby much longer.

A drop of water lands on my foot, as he splashes in the pool with his dad. The coolness of it startles me, much like the impending start of his school caught me unaware. I thought we still had so much time, so long before I had to share him with the rest of the world. I thought this time was so far off, and yet, it came without a warning, without me even noticing its fast approach. How had the time passed so quickly, when it seems I just held him in my arms for the first time, not so long ago at all?

I look at the little boy, his baby brother, playing at my feet. He has sticky popsicle on his lips and and a dump truck on his shirt. Dirt is etched in his fingernails and there is a scab on his knee. I reach over and pull him into my lap so I can breathe in his scent of grass and playground dirt, sugar snacks and little boy sweat. Can I do it right with him? Can I savor every moment, somehow not waste a day of the little bit of time before he follows his big brother, and steps out into the world as well?

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