Buried Treasure

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I stood over the kitchen sink
scrubbing chars off cookie sheets,
tears dropping like bombs
into Palmolive bubbles.

Could I leave my babies,
three and twenty months,
for five whole days?
One hundred twenty breathless hours?

NO.
I am their Mommy.
They need
ME.

But there, in purple rubber gloves
the Lord met me, saying
“Tucking them in each night — Good.
Loving their Daddy well — BEST.”

So I packed a bag,
took his hand
and flew where
apron strings can’t reach.

But not before I tucked
into my mother-in-law’s hand
their schedule, favorite foods,
medical guardian forms.

These gems, however,
I purposely did not leave her:

That His peanut butter sandwiches
get folded, not cut. That his first bite
will be in the middle of the crease
and he will leave behind a crust “smile.”

That She will hand up her army of stuffed animals,
one by one, for kisses and cradling
before she allows you to
pull her from her crib.

That certain songs will cause Him
to run to retrieve his “dancing shoes,”
which he will struggle to pull on in time
to dance across the living room carpet.

That She will yank out
any hair clips or elastics
not placed in specific Bermuda Triangle
quadrants of her head.

That His left leg will be
touching the floor mid-nap
and should be pushed back up
or he will fall out of bed, waking early.

That She will raise her palms
to the sky and join in singing
“Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul”
at the side of her crib each bedtime.

Instead, I tucked these things
deep in my heart
as buried treasure,
my precious, priceless Mama Gold.

I know my mother-in-law
would understand.
She is a mother,
after all.

And this week, as she sifts and pans their lives
I know she will discover gems of her own,
hold some up to the light
to sparkle free.

But most, I suspect, she’ll tuck
deep in her heart
as buried treasure,
her precious, priceless Grandma Gold.

Photo Credit

*This is my first time joining the Imperfect Prose writing group hosted by Emily Wierenga. Please click the button below to read others’ beautiful writing inspired by this week’s prompt, “Mother.”

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The Scale

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My daughter has never seen me weigh myself.

I would like to claim this is due to some intentionality on my part; an effort to protect her from attaching significance to the numbers on the scale.

But it’s a fluke.

Before she could walk, my husband moved the scale from a corner of our bathroom floor to the garage so he could weigh some backpacks before his Guys Weekend hiking the Appalachian Trail.

I never brought it back inside.

This does not mean I stopped using it.

For weeks, during that golden mid-day hour where both kiddos napped, I would run to take my shower.  Slip off my clothes, slip on my flip flops.  Tiptoe to the garage, ducking as I navigated storage boxes and dust bunnies, lest anyone catch a peek of my naked forehead through the high garage door windows.

And I would ever-so-lightly step barefoot onto that silver pedestal.  My wide eyes would shimmy up the emergency red needle and find my whole self crammed in the white space between the dashes.

Taking in the large print numbers, my problem solving would begin.

Minus one for big feet.

Minus one for long hair.

Subtract total from yesterday’s.

Then, I’d slip my flip flops back on, run into the house and pretend that never happened.

I wish I didn’t care about the number on the scale, but I do.

Usually, anyway.  Because, right now, I am in my second trimester of pregnancy and I have not weighed myself at home in months.  (The nurses do plenty of that for me.)

I am relishing this glorious reprieve from that dreaded red needle.  Because my answer in this season to “How much do I weigh?” is simply, “More than yesterday.”

As my body gets heavier, my heart happily sinks into a smaller and smaller number of life’s menu items.

I’m scooping deep, pressing down into a few people, ideas and dreams.  I’m tasting long and often of my favorite things.

Take away my days spread thin, in search of the perfectly balanced life.

There is new beauty appearing in this leaning over and pressing heavy into my family and friends, my passions, my Jesus.

Let these be the deep stretch marks I leave on this world.

*After a terribly long absence, I am overjoyed to be rejoining the talented writing group that meets on Mondays as part of Amber C. Haines‘ series, Concrete Abstractions, at www.therunamuck.com as she explores writing out spirit through the concrete things of life.  This week’s topic, SCALE.