Friday, January 10, 2014


Eveleen is coming down the stairs. I can hear her sad whimpers and tiny footfalls. She'll want to lay on my chest and tell me "no" in answer to any question I may ask. No food. No blanky. No diaper. No sad. No happy. She'll rub my arm with her little hand. She'll cry for her daddy and when I call him at work she'll refuse to talk to him. She needs his comforting touch. She wants him to hold her like only he can.
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Ossi will come next, bounding and thumping and coughing. He'll flick the light on and jump up to the bed. He'll tell me all about everything. He'll explain the way the world works in his loudest voice. Stopping mid-sentence he'll run to the kitchen and come back with a big bowl. I'll say kind things to comfort him and even while he's throwing up he'll reply, "I love you, mommy." He'll draw Evy pictures and get her a drink. He'll let Molly outside, coughing, coughing as he goes. When I tell him to go ahead he'll check on his brothers who sleep late in their beds.
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Upstairs Finn is smiling. He lays with his hands behind his head like he's getting a sun tan. Molly is by his side. She is chewing on a beloved stuffed animal. She is rolling around and trying to get Finn to play. Finn just smiles and says, "oh, Molly" as she licks his face. She finds the remains of a small snack Finn tried to eat before bed but couldn't choke down. Finn just stares at the ceiling contently and waits for me to come and check his temperature.

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Liam is in his loft. He is bundled in blankets, surrounded by his emergency preparedness collection.  He always needs his pillow, his metal pot, his roll of toilet paper, his bottle of water, his Harry Potter cloak, and his few, close friends. Moose, giraffe and "rhino" the hamster. His pale skin and his dark eyes and hair contrasting greatly. He is so big now but still he asks me to carry him down from the top bunk. First I need to move his survival supplies to his new place of residence. He'll ask me for this and that, and to change this or that around.
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The house will be calm and quiet, except when I put Evy down at all. She explodes like a tiny hulk when her feet touch the floor or her bottom touches the couch or her back touches a bed. I'll wash load after load of bedding and relish the easiness of the folding task. There really is nothing like folding warm blankets. I'll feel a little guilty for enjoying it so much when their bodies are resting and recovering, but not that guilty. I'll remember that rainy days are beautiful in their own kind of way and to refuse to let myself enjoy the scene would be silly. I'll remember that soon they'll be climbing the walls again.
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Before he left Matthew made the rounds. He checked foreheads for warmth. He distributed chewable pain-relief and sips of juice. He came back to give me a full report while I laid warm in bed. Then he kissed my mouth, morning-breath and all, and did the hardest thing for him. He walked out the front door. The night before we'd been scheming, "how can we make our fortune quickly so that we never have to be apart?"
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Sometimes my mind settles on this scene from Peter Pan when I think of Matthew at work. He is my Mr. Darling. photo _DSC3285_zps16310dda.jpg
After a long day of rinsing buckets and coaxing children to sip liquids Matthew will come home. We'll all gather around our lap top to watch a movie. The speakers will be too quiet and the kids will ask too many questions about what's happening so we'll put the subtitles on and read the movie to them. We'll pause it no less than 20 times for small emergencies. Liam thinks he has an appetite but he changes his mind upon the food presentation. Evy is too cold so she needs another blanket. Liam is too hot so we all need to stand up and give him some space. It's Finn's turn to sit on my lap. Or Ossi just remembered that he has to build something really important right away.

And it's the best, worst day ever.

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