January 21, 2009

Conversation Over Dinner

Jude was sitting on the arm of her booster seat, even though we’ve told her ten thousand times not to. And somehow her pants had gotten worked down over her bum so that some of her plumber’s crack was showing. I was getting a good laugh out of it.

Gideon, always interested in his sister’s doings, was keeping an eye on her while he signed to me for “More, please” of his rice, beans, and chicken enchilada.

Me to Josh: Gideon is watching Little Miss Cracky Pants over there.

Jude (eating chips and beans): CRACKY PANTS!!

We snicker and smirk.

Jude (her mouth stuffed full of chips): CRAPPY PANTS!!

We really start to giggle.

Jude (bite swallowed): CRACKY PANTS! GEE-YON!!! CRACKY PANTS!!!

Josh: Jude, I hate to tell you this, and I don’t want you to be nervous, but… I think you might have cracked your bum. Pause. Did you fall and crack your bum? ‘Cause there’s a big crack right down the middle of your bottom, and I think you must have fallen. Did you?

Jude (listening intently, watching him out of the side of her eyes): No. I didn’t fall. (She’s starting to grin. Then she looks at me, and since I’m grinning she relaxes into the joke.)

Josh: Well, you’ve got this big crack. Right in the middle of your bum. And I don’t think you had that crack when we first got you from the store.

Jude: Yes. Yes I did. I was cracked.

Of course, this means we totally lost it. Yes, Jude, you were cracked!!

January 20, 2009

A Poem

Homely Thoughts on the Transcendence of the Present Moment

I celebrate the chaos.
The toys underfoot.
The pile of coats forever occupying a chair.
Sand, fish crackers, and play food scattered on the carpet, newly vacuumed.
The doll that has been sleeping under the couch since the last harvest moon.

I celebrate morning walks with blankets and hats,
The little voice saying, "Mommy, LOOK!"
Re-reading the same story
And over
And over

I celebrate rotten diapers by the back door,
His chubby hand rubbing his chest, "Please."
My baby going headfirst and giggling down the slide.
My envy of those who can go to the bathroom whenever they want.
The already-opened box of Teddy Grahams at the grocery store check-out.

I celebrate my shoes, my combs, my lip balm, my underwear,
Stolen, stashed, dropped, forgotten
In the toy box, or the den, or the laundry room.
Hiding the remote from the children and then forgetting where it's hidden.
Cracker crumbs and backwash in my cup.
Listening to the same music over
And over
And over
And getting one of those infernal tunes stuck in my head,
Spinning around like a tipsy yo-yo
Until I want to scream,
And then sharing my joy and my pain with Daddy--so he can sing it, too--
Hey, misery loves company.

I celebrate the jobs never finished
The half-done chores
The undone-but-truly-thought-about tasks
And the duties I completely forgot
Lost in the toddler pace, the baby pace, the little person pace of the day.

I celebrate a little hand lying against my chest,
A tiny hand resting upon my breast,
And the even rise and fall of breath--
The life of my child.
But also, the moment before--
The cry that wakes me into the night,
The darkened room,
The half-lit moon,
The weariness of my body and mind,
The knowledge deeper than bones
That I will go.
Because my heart, resigned, is stronger.
A gift from God to mothers.