Friday, August 15, 2008

The Cool Concrete

I am half way out the driveway before I realize, or rather my feet tell me, that I've forgotten shoes. It's the end of a very, very long day and what energy I have left is spent gathering up the rest of the recycling and taking it out to the waiting container on the sidewalk - where it sits for tomorrow's pick up.

The air has not yet cooled to the temperature that defines the nights here in the Northwest, and it's doubtful that it will anytime soon. Fans whizz in windowsills, air conditioners whir busily and neighbors are restless in their beds.

The heat has got us all of kilter.

She trods behind me, in her same bare feet, although it's after 10pm.

"Can I help you momma?" she asks when she sees me, arms full of water bottles and yesterdays newspapers.

"Of course you can little one."

So I hand her a bottle and out we go, to put it in it's place.

The quietness of the night always calms me, always comforts me, always makes me aware. It's darkness and stillness hide the realities that the daylight reveal and somehow, it's soothing.

After closing the massive lid on the bin, she's standing, arms outstretched toward me, willing me to pick her up. Her long legs wrap nearly around my whole body as she forms herself like a baby kangaroo to me and she points up to the clear sky.

"Thems a lot of stars up there momma."

"There sure are," I say back - making sure to use the "there" instead of the "thems" - a ritual I find myself repeating a lot these days.

We gaze into the blackness, into the nothing, into the air and we breathe. She feels like she never left my womb, never became herself, like we are one again. I take her back toward the house, walking slowly so as to prolong this moment, it's breathless contentment, it's perfectness.

The cool concrete beneath my feet, I walk her back to the lights of home. Back to the whirring and the buzzing and the open windows to try to find sleep in the hot, hot night. But for a moment, she is that babe again, that little being dependent on me and only me.

To think, there will be a day when I can no longer lift her . . .

21 comments:

Busymama Kellie said...

That was beautiful. I am always catching myself taking my kids for granted and not enjoying the time that I have with them. They won't be small forever and I'll long for the days when I could hold them and smell their hair. Thanks for the reminder!

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

I totally know how you feel. Every now and again one of the girls will snuggle up close or put their head in my lap so I can stroke their hair while we are watching a movie and I treasure every moment of it.

Karly said...

Oh, I know just how you fell. I can't pick up my boy anymore and it makes me wanna cry. It won't be long before the girl is too big as well.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Even though you won't be able to lift her, you can still snuggle in bed or on the couch. My "baby" is 3 inches taller than me and we still have our cuddles.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Even though you won't be able to lift her, you can still snuggle in bed or on the couch. My "baby" is 3 inches taller than me and we still have our cuddles.

painted maypole said...

those moments are bittersweet, aren't they?

painted maypole said...

those moments are bittersweet, aren't they?

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

What a great post.

You may not always be able to lift her, but she will always be your little baby.

mom2natnkatncj said...

What a beautiful memory. Gotta enjoy it while it lasts, right?

houndrat said...

The harder it becomes to lift my 4-yr-old son and 10-month-old daughter, the more I want to do it.

It breaks my heart to think a day will arrive in the none-too-distant horizon where I will no longer be able to heft my son up over my hip. There's something so comforting about the holding of a child.

I guess we will have to find different rituals to hold each other close.

Carrie said...

the imagery here was beautiful. I was just sitting here trying not to be annoyed by my kids' screeching (I mean playing) and now I just want to go snuggle up with them.

great post.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

With Junior Mayhem entering kindergarten this year....I find myself wondering the same thing!


This mothering stuff if tough business! :0

Mamacita Tina said...

What a sweet moment you have saved and shared with the rest of us. I hate when my wonders about the future and of things like not being about to carry my own children.

Anonymous said...

Lovely moment.

You know, when I l said goodbye to your grandma this afternoon, I wished we could bring her with us right then. Maybe we should have just picked her up.

sigh

xxxooomom

Christy said...

Awww...what a beautiful piece of writing that was. I so love those moments when they still seem like those little babies they once were. I missed you while I was on vacation! :)

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

that was lovely, carrie.

Becky said...

omg i LOVE this

The Scott Family said...

Pure perfection.

mamikaze said...

that is sweet.

San Diego Momma said...

Now that my youngest is two and half, I see all her babyness leaving, and it simultaneously thrills me and breaks my heart.

Beautifully written post.

Ann(ie) said...

SOOOOO sweet. Ben's getting so big, but I just cherish the times he wants to cuddle.