Monday, February 12, 2007
Blogging For Books
Whenever I get out the photo albums and look at all the pictures of my children when they were babies, and toddlers, and small children, and middle-sized children, and older children, and preteens, and teens. . . .I dream that night that they’re dead.
It’s to the point that I am frightened of their baby pictures. I look at those two beautiful little faces, the fluffy golden curls, the spiky bright-red curls, the gorgeous little eyebrows, the tiny little ears, the sweet miniature teeth, the gaptoothed smiles, the fat, dimpled legs, the thin straight legs, the tiny feet with the curled-up toes, the snapshot of two toddlers playing in the middle of the living room with the huge case of Pampers showing there in the back corner, my freshly two-year-old daughter holding her newborn brother on our old couch with the denim patches to keep the springs from hurting us. . . .and I dream that night that they’re dead.
Some nights, after looking at old pictures, I dream that I’m at an airport, frantically trying to find my children in a crowd of people who don’t speak English and who are in too much of a hurry to help me. I stand on a chair, and I can just see a curly golden head and a spiky red head waving, and I can just barely hear two baby voices calling for me as they’re borne along by the crowds. . . .and I wake up in a cold sweat of horror, that somehow, and I can never remember how, I’ve lost my babies.
Sometimes, when I walk around the yard, I remember my children playing there, in the big sandbox my father made, that finally rotted away and blended with the grass. . . .I remember the swing that was so wide both toddlers could sit together on it: that swing that was fastened to a branch so high up, the physics of it allowed that swing to swing higher than any children’s swing should ever swing. I can close my eyes and see them sitting in it, and I can hear them reciting their swing poems: “How do you like to go up in a swing, up in the air so bluuuuuuuuuue. . . .” and, once they got some momentum and could see the ‘neighbor cows’ to the left, “The friendly cow all red and while, I love with all my haaaaaart. . . .” Now, I look at the cover of “A Child’s Garden of Verses” and the memories flood over me until I choke and nearly drown. I'll be afraid to sleep that night, because I know what the dreams will be like: I'll be frantically wandering in a garden, trying to find my tiny children by following their voices, their sweet little voices, reciting poems and singing songs and getting farther and farther away as I get more and more frantic. . . .
Underneath the deck in the back of the house are two little round sleds. They’re been under the deck for years now; I don’t think anybody knows they’re there but me. I look at them and remember tiny children in snowsuits, being pulled over the snow by me, by their father, by visiting cousins. . . . .by my father, who’s been gone for many years now. This night, I'll dream that my father is pulling my babies away from me, and no matter how fast I run after them, I can't catch up, and I watch helplessly as my father and my babies disappear. I stay up very late on those nights, too.
My father has been gone for several years. But, the two toddlers he pulled across the snow are gone, too. They’re gone. My children were here, today, and I looked at their dear faces and I loved them so much I couldn’t say it. . . . I even heard some scolding words come out of my mouth, when what I really wanted to say was, oh, my children, you’re still in there somewhere, I can see that you are by your eyebrows that are still exactly the same as the day you were born, and the fluffy golden curls, and the spiky red curls, and the huge green eyes, and the huge blue eyes, and the gestures, your gestures are still exactly the same, look, look at these pictures of your childhood, these faces are in the faces you have now, still, like rings in a tree, every age you ever were is still in you somewhere, my babies, my toddlers, my children, my beautiful young adults. . . . look at yourselves in these pictures. . . .
They’re gone now, and it’s after 4 a.m., and I’m still up, typing, because I’m afraid to go to bed.
I know I will dream, and I know what the dream will be. No, I’ll stay awake a while longer.
Those babies are still here. It’s just that some days, I can’t find them. Or perhaps, some days, they don’t want to be found. . . .
I’ll sleep some other time.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 4:22 AM | |