Saturday, September 12, 2015

12 September 2015

I want to remember this moment.  Baby boy, standing naked, belly-up to the bathtub, watching the water intently as his bath is drawn.  Content, finally, at the end of a trying day.

Did all my babies have that little underbite when there were only six teeth? I know they all had the round, overhanging belly, taut after a dinner eaten with clutching fists.  And that cornsilk hair that will grow long and awkward before I can bring myself to cut it.

The baby chirps, a happy tree frog, and I remember his brother, chirping with joy after eating dirt in our little suburban yard four years ago.  And then his bigger brother yells up the stairs, "Mama!" with his little-boy voice.  They have been gathering chestnuts (or chinquapins, Henry isn't sure) in the gloaming and will need a bigger bowl to display them on the nature table.  The nuts are shiny brown and just the right size and smoothness to tuck into a pocket to turn and hold and stroke with the pad of your thumb when you are unsure during the first week of first grade.

Oh, but this has been a long day, and a long week.  But such a short almost-seven years, and four-almost-five-years, and almost-ten-months.  (So they all say.)

Our "morning words", our memory work, right now is Christina Rossetti's "Who Has Seen the Wind?".  We are in that full, fleeting stage of a family's life where all our spirits whirl around this house together, both noiseless-ly and with a lot of noise, and we rustle each other's leaves, and I try to water their roots, and I only take a deep breath at the end of the day when it is fully dark and I can hear the dog running in his sleep. I want to remember what this feels like, to be right in the middle, watching the leaves blow in the suddenly cool, autumn breeze.

                           Who has seen the wind?
                           Neither I nor you:
                           But when the leaves hang trembling,
                           The wind is passing through.

                           Who has seen the wind?
                           Neither you nor I:
                           But when the trees bow down their heads,
                           The wind is passing by.

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