Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Tonight after you had taken your bottle in the dark and quiet of your room, I couldn’t bring myself to put you down, couldn’t bring myself to let you go, and so I stood there, a foot from the edge of the crib, with your little hands draped around my neck and your head resting on my shoulder, felt your tiny ribcage expand and contract with every breath as you drifted into the precursors of sleep, felt you be, and just loved you, and just missed you, and just poured all that love and all that missing into the space around us. You are so still when you’re sleeping, so the opposite of your little hurricane self when you’re awake, crawling or twisting or turning or grabbing or pulling (on hair, clothes, toys, furniture, yourself or anything you can reach, really.) And in that stillness I feel your vulnerability, your not-even-one-ness, and it breaks my heart, makes my breath catch for a moment in my throat, so that I have to remind myself to breathe again, to be ok with it.

You are little but getting bigger every day, growing in tiny, imperceptible ways, learning, kitten-like in your mannerisms, your noises, your expressions. I swear I have heard your purr. And I want the moment next to your crib to last forever, but there are lunches to pack and clothes to put away and even if I ignore them, the phone is ringing and your brother is calling me urgently from his bedroom, where he’s probably put his pj’s on backward, and I have to put you down, my love, I have to tend to other things and other people, and pray that in the morning, I’ll get to hold you again in peace, if only for a moment, before we go out into the tornado of the world again.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I have lost the ability to put together multiple coherent sentences, sentences that matter, that mean something to someone else, sentences that discuss something other than mealtime or bedtime battles, clothing wars, potty training progress, teething or growth percentiles. 
I have lost the ability to read anything longer than 2000 words - unless you can show me pictures, unless they are shiny, or the target audience is 15.
I have lost the ability to write, the words flowing off my fingers, through me and into a pen or onto a keyboard, writing unbidden, phrases coming faster than I can put them down somewhere permanent. On the rare occasion they do come, I am in the middle of bath time or bed time, my arms preoccupied with the rocking of an infant or the changing of a diaper, impossible to drop the task at hand. and by the time I get to the pen, the words are gone, vapours in the air, traces of what they were when I first thought them, gifts with the shortest lifespans, available only to those who can quickly, greedily hold them down.
I have lost the ability to fall asleep at a moment’s notice just when I need that ability most, just when my opportunities for sleep come in 10 and 15 minute intervals, just when the duration between the end of the baby’s feeding and the pre-schooler’s rising is exactly that amount of time, lost the ability to power nap when the power nap would give me the most power, refuel me enough to keep my eyes open, my voice answering ongoing, random questions I’ve never considered - what is the sky? Who is grandpa’s brother? Are you going to wash your shirt because it’s green? 

my voice singing - alternately in English and then Arabic and then French, A-B-C, aliph-ba-ta-tha, the wheels on the bus go round and round, rocking the baby, my mind spinning with so much and so little.