Close To Me


Scene: Morning on Spring Break, time to go outside and play. I’m going through the complicated maneuver of putting on Julianna’s shoes with a growth on my back.

Scene: 8:30 Mass on a Sunday morning. We’re sitting in the front pew–taking up the whole front pew– and it’s time to kneel down. Only I can’t. There’s only room for one knee at the very edge of the kneeler, because my three ambulatory children have decided they all need to inhabit the end where I’m sitting. I have to physically push children farther down the pew to make room for myself.

Scene: my nursing chair in the corner of my bedroom, with a baby who can’t decide if he wants to eat or play. Nicholas climbs up on the Medela foot stool and leans over top of the baby, who grunts and lets go the breast in order to concentrate on, I don’t know, BREATHING. Julianna takes flank position, leaning over the arm rest and putting her weight on my arm–the one trying to support Michael’s head at the breast. “Guys!” I say, exasperated. “Back off!” Michael wiggles and laughs.

Scene: Good Friday services. Christian is out of town, so I’ve called on my cousin to sit with us and help me wrangle children. They like my cousin. They’ve stayed at her house several times while I’ve had professional commitments. But they want nothing to do with her. As the service goes on, there is a silent but ongoing wrestling match for who gets to sit by Mommy. The end result is that between my cousin at the end of the pew and us there is a dead space of almost three feet, followed by five bodies piled on top of each other. When at last I hand the baby down to her–the only one who can’t move himself–Nicholas lights up and dives for my lap.

Perhaps I have a magnetic personality.


6 thoughts on “Close To Me

  1. abbyotr

    You know I can relate! I was thinking on Easter it was a good thing I didn’t bother buying a new outfit because by the end of church my skirt was sticky from little hands with lollipops (to keep them quiet) and a button had been pulled off my coat. I often want to scream “Everyone just step away from Mommy!”

  2. dottie Sowash

    Your first mistake was bonding with them. I warned you about that. Loving and being loved can be hard sometime. Wonderful though, and happily and hopefully, unforgettable. I promise you, you will look back and smile just from the memory.

  3. I’ve gotten used to the kids being between me and whatever I’m trying to do, be it shop, fold clothes or use the computer. The only time they keep their distance is in the kitchen where my husband wisely set up a counter opposite the stove.

    Sometimes I even enjoy it because it makes me think I’m a good mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great post!

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