Vignettes

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…At 9:00, Christian and I make our way upstairs to do a little spiritual reading before going to bed. He turns on the strobe on his phone and checks the kids as he does every night, scolding, teasing or re-tucking-in depending on circumstance. Tonight, he comes into the bedroom laughing afterward: Nicholas is not asleep. In the center of his bed sits a pile of blankets almost two feet high, with no sign of footed jammies anywhere. “Nicholas, where are you?” he asks.

“Wight hee,” says Nicholas, from the opposite corner of the bunk. “I tuck my bay in!” Sure enough, Christian finds a two-inch-high stuffed Christmas ornament bear peeking out from beneath the Leaning Tower of Blankets…

…Attending Mass at Newman a few weeks ago leads to Alex begging to participate in their Christmas pageant. Because he’s not a member, he can’t have a speaking role, but he is playing a shepherd, who is to be led to the manger by an angel. Conveniently enough, his partner angel is his best (girl) friend from school. He comes out of rehearsal in high spirits. “Mommy, E__ and I are walking down the aisle together!” he says. “We hold hands!” He doesn’t understand why Mommy and Daddy have to pinch our lips to keep from laughing—or why we won’t explain it to him…

…We haven’t been down to the woods as much this year as in past years. Pregnant, tired mommy? Writing-busy mommy? Or just lazy mommy? In any case, there aren’t many days left to enjoy in the woods, so one morning I take the little ones down to the creek. I sit down, sharp rocks poking my heavy bottom, as Nicholas throws rocks. Julianna stands with her toes at the very edge of the creek, throws a rock or two, and then, quietly, without fuss, comes over to me and plants herself on my left leg for a snuggle. Fine brown hair against my cheek, body nestled against mine. We look up together as an unexpectedly warm late-fall wind sets the bare sycamores and russet-crowned oaks to dancing. “Buh-buh-buh,” she says as a bird flies overhead—one of many protowords she uses now. And it is a perfect moment…quiet, serene, and all too fleeting…

Head of a fetus, aged 29 weeks, in a "3D ...

…I sit at the computer desk, and my insides flutter. I know that by bedtime I’ll feel bloated; in the middle of the night, the baby will shift so far to one side that I’ll moan as I try to roll over–that by morning, my back will ache from lack of support. But in this moment, the raindrop-trickle of little limbs and fingers on my insides feels like grace itself…

There are so many things to be thankful for, this week of giving thanks. I whisper the list silently skyward, but these I preserve and share.

May the coming holiday be full of grace, and peace, and love. I’ll see you all back here on Monday.

8 thoughts on “Vignettes

  1. dottie Sowash

    I took my boys to the woods many times. Mostly so they would play and I could read but every now and then there were those special, precious moments together. Thanks for helping me remember. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. A heart-warming selection of vignettes…
    Here in my corner of the globe, we don’t celebrate thanksgiving as a special holiday in the manner that you do… nevertheless, I have LOTS to be grateful for. I hope you and your family had an awesome Thanksgiving!
    Thanks for swinging by my blog and leaving a comment.
    Nice to meet you Kathleen *waves*

  3. Love this description: “But in this moment, the raindrop-trickle of little limbs and fingers on my insides feels like grace itself…”

    You brought back my memories of being amazed and joyful after being so uncomfortable and miserable.

    • At the moment I’m back to uncomfortable and miserable, so I’m glad I took the time to record the other while it was around. When I was suffering infertility, it was so incredibly hurtful for pregnant women to complain…

  4. I like your line “raindrop-trickle of little limbs and fingers on my insides feels like grace itself…” I remember those days so well even though they were a long time ago. I hope I never forget that feeling! It was such a blessing times three!

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