The sun isn’t very bright yet when she wakes to the sound of loud whispering, to the sight of a homemade paper card a few millimeters from her face. The smell is that of unsorted laundry; bedsheets a tad late for their cleaning, with an infusion of overdue diaper. She doesn’t seem able to lift her legs, or one arm. Even her lower extremities are penned as the sleepy man to her side wakes enough to stretch and embrace what he can reach affectionately.
Using her free hand, she grasps at the paper and pulls it to the range at which she can make out its contents. It’s too early, her brain complains, to decipher Cyrillic. She blinks and refocuses. Ah, she realizes, those were flowers -and probably people. Maybe letters.
Taking a guess, she attempts speech. “How nice, Sweetheart!” The artist frowns at the unusually croaky sounds. She clears her throat some, and tries again. “I see you drew me and you and flowers…” She relaxes as his scowl turns to smiles. Satisfied, he turns and falls off the bed, relieving one pinned leg.
The next boy thrusts his offering at equal facial distance to the first, then turns and frowns disinterestedly at the wall. This one is definitely English; it’s even partially typed. She sees he is clearly the most talkative child on paper, too, with so many one-word responses to this standard form his class was given. Age: 33, Hair: brown, Favorite food: food. She smiles, then looks more strained at the next two answers he’d supplied: She likes to … do dishes, She’s really good at … doing dishes. She tries to look grateful as he’s pretending not to watch but really is. “Thanks, Honey,” she smiles and is not surprised as he shrugs and dodges her attempts to hug him. He, too, leaves the bed and another leg free.
She looks to her other arm and her other half. Both smile up at her with similar expressions. Genetics will do that. “I love you, Mommy,” the wet diaper owner says sweetly. He cringes adorably as she kisses a plump cheek.
Dad sighs again and sits up. “Let’s go make Mommy breakfast,” he tells his youngest. He scoops her remaining impediment into the air playfully. He looks down at the bedheaded beauty who birthed them all.
“Happy Mother’s Day,” he says, and leaves.
Finally alone, she looks over her offspring’s offerings, and cries.
(I originally wrote this and posted it on Facebook on May 14, 2017.)
Sunday, May 5: “Parenting is Hard, so Why Still Do It?,” a fantastic piece that came after a really long week.
Monday, May 6: Wrote a ‘poem’ titled, “Short Mom Rap.”
Tuesday, May 7: Shared a quote on patience by Paulo Coehlo.
Wednesday, May 8: Recommended against Sour Patch Kids cereal and others of its milk.
Thursday, May 9: “Those Little Shutterbugs,” a snippet hoping that all those phone pics will lead my kids to a productive life as a photographer.
Friday, May 10: “Take Time for You. Ish.” Advised parents, everywhere, to eschew the guilt and get out.
Saturday, May 11: Shared Heather is a Hot Mess‘s tweet about Magic Socks (or Magic Couches).
Sunday, May 12: Happy Mother’s Day!
©2019 Chelsea Owens