Sunday, May 10, 2020

Dear Small Boy, Round 2: Another Mother's Day


Dear Small Boy,

It’s Mother’s Day, and you have the hiccups.

Your daddy and brother have gone out on a mission to fetch breakfast I think? We are waiting quietly in bed for their return.

Hic, hic, hic, on the bottom left of my belly. Hic, stretch, hic.

You are the last baby I’ll carry in my belly, this I’m certain of. As interesting and extraordinary a privilege it is to create a human in my body, I do not take well to this work. So as I struggle to see this through to the end, to you joining us on the outside, I seek hard for moments with you to treasure. I mine for them and clutch tightly to any sparkle I find in the damp and the dark.

Your brother and daddy are home, I hear the clump, clump of the disintegrating rain boots your brother insists on wearing in 20 degree weather, because he can put them on himself, and he likes to “stomp”. The table and chairs scrape over the floor above me. They burst into the bedroom and, trying to carry everything, Daddy spills coffee all over the flowers and the floor. They have brought all the wrong food; runny eggs and sauce on the sandwich, raisins in the chocolate, and not a waffle in sight. But the latte is good and I eat three servings of side potatoes and decide to ignore the coffee stain seeping through the sheet into the mattress.

We have packed up all of the vases, so I come upstairs to find your daddy has put the flowers into an empty coke can. This is our last week in the house I grew you in that you’ll never see. You and I carefully navigate the stacks of boxes together. Your brother asks for the “biggest squeeze in the world” while we snuggle on our crumb-y couch, and we give it to him. The four of us are getting ready for something new.

-Your Mother



Monday, April 20, 2020

Dear Small Boy, Round 2: How to Take Care of You and Me

Dear Small Boy,

I found a sunny spot on the deck.

I watched a bee fly into our house through the open door.

I listened for your brother who was supposed to be napping but was “karate chomping” an imaginary enemy in his bed.

I thought about making myself throw up.

I wondered where we would put you. Where do you put a baby who has no home yet? On me I suppose.

I took a sip of water.

I scoured the Internet for a reckless purchase to make me feel happy.

I heard your daddy’s worry vibrating from downstairs. 

I felt you stretch and poke around inside me, reminding me it’s getting cramped in there (I know, bud, I know).

I counted down 9 weeks.

I breathed in the fresh air. There are trees around the deck.

I did the best I could in the moment.

Sincerely,

Your Mother
 

Dear Small Boy is a series of letters about perinatal depression.