"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, February 28, 2013

hours of life i'll never get back

I survived the usual morning rush and surveyed the damage while making a mental accounting of all things possible in the day ahead.

A book case to paint.
Curtains to sew.
A closet to organize.
Some laundry to do.

I put on exercise clothes for a morning treadmill run and lay a tired baby back in her bed.

The brief seconds on the floor to tie running shoes were momentarily too long and a girl with game in hand, was upon me.

We played. The early morning waned. The doorbell rang. There was a giggly race to retrieve a package delivery. Our disturbance unsettled the baby and the needed nap was gone.

Begging for snacks. Requests for some coloring. A doll house pulled out. Some pretend play and juggling of a tired baby amidst our invention of "Dr. Linford, Can You Please Remove This Pig From My Face??" The hilarity wore on.

"Mom, let's make a grilled cheese." so together we did and picnic-ed on the floor. The crumbs fell. The lunch dishes topped those of breakfast.

It's time for an afternoon rest, says the baby's newest actions. Then, maybe, I'll squeeze in that run.

We laid on my bed with library books high and the girl suggested we wrap like a "taco".
I read and I read and the wiggly baby under one arm stopped moving as the gentle breath under the other arm, slowed to deep and even.

The handful of nocturnal feedings coupled with the early morning whirlwind triple header out the door to school, catches up with me and I'm powerless to my fading eyelids.

Just a minute.

Then I'll try to move.

I opened my eyes and lay still, trying to clear the fog of my brain. On my side, the baby curls inward to me, all squishy and soft like she's always belonged right in that spot. A velvety toddler hand drapes over from behind, limp and heavy as the little girl to my back presses her face into my shoulder.

The slanted sun across the bedroom told me it was late.

I could slip away now but we're on the precipice and the slightest motion will wake the magic of this moment.

Stillness continued.

If I had super powers, I could will that latest parenting book just out of reach to my hand and at least, multitask my trapped position.

If I had a clone, I could whip up some cookies for that hungry teenage boy about to re-enter.

Instead I lay there enclosed in the soft, light breath of infantile sandwich.

The front door opened and slammed and the calls for mom stirred the enchantment. It's clear, the shelf ... the curtains .. the closet ... the laundry ... the parenting book ... the cookies ... will remain untouched today. A wash. I didn't do anything. A day I'll never get back.

The evening raged on with dinner, after school activity pickups, homework, referee-ing, repremanding, frustration, apologies, cleanup and chores, bedtime kisses and tuck ins. Babies asleep, I stood in the dimmed light and removed the unused  exercise clothing. Tomorrow. I guess.

Warmly pj'd, I heard a soft voice behind me and turned to see the little girl. She grabbed my legs and held on tight. "Why aren't you in bed?" I ask and run my fingers through that curly hair.

"Mom," her face beamed up at me in the dark, "It was the best day ever. You are my best friend ever."

And I didn't even do anything. A day I'll never get back.

What did you do today that you will never get back?


  1. these days are my life. although i don't have a tiny baby anymore :(
    but an almost 4 year old..who runs me all day long. and i know there aren't many more of them. so i try to keep up.
    someday, my house will be clean all day. i will be fit and trim. i will finally learn how to knit. i will wonder what to do with my days. and wish i had that little boy with me.
    lovely post marlowe. forget the workout. and everything else. your day sounds perfect.

    1. thanks, Pam. It's always good to remember :) And I sure love hearing about Griffy :)

  2. Ahh...I had a morning kind of like that, where I taught my son to make bagels while I was still in my pajamas and the baked and frosted sugar cookies for my daughter to give to the receptionist at school for her birthday. When it came time to go play the piano at the elementary school I had to go fresh out of the shower with not a bit of makeup...and I didn't regret it one bit.

    I had just watched this yesterday and when I read your post this afternoon I thought you would appreciate it... http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/04/unbelievable-my-book-is-being-advertised-on-television/

  3. Oh, Marlowe! I am hormonal this week, darn it! sniff....sniff.....I have so many of those days....I forget that those kinds of days are totally different for the kids than they are for me. AT least work out clothes are comfy, right?

    1. Yes, Kayla .. they are ... and they are also the same clothes I've worn every day for a week in hopes :) I call it exercise by the power of positive thinking .. even if it never actually happens :)

  4. ohhhhh Marlowe, a big lump formed in my throat as I pictured this. So much better to take a much needed rest with your baby beauties than to "get things done"...well done, my friend!! hugs, cathy