It’s peaceful, finally.
The leftovers of the day wash up on the horizon’s shore–
Midnight blue bleeds to black.
The wind excuses itself through the leaves–
I love this sound.
I’m nursing my second glass of wine.
I’m not drunk,
The closest human is yards away,
Silenced by the sliding glass door.
Ugh, I feel so guilty:
Guilty for needing this separation,
For wanting to bolt the door shut from the outside,
So reality can stay in there for a while.
I love them in a way that saying I love them is sacrilege.
They are the sunset, the darkness and the dawn.
They are my feet, my heart and my guts.
There’s no separation even when there is—
Maybe that’s why motherhood beats the shit out me every single day.
I’m delirious; the silhouette of the grapefruit tree looks X-rated.
Sex? It’s not an option these days and even if it were?
I’m too tired to be touched.
I give all of me in daylight,
There’s nothing left by the time the moon rises.
I’m hoping the glow of their iPads lulls them to sleep tonight,
Just so I can kiss their foreheads and come back down to this,
Without answering 15 questions
Pulled from every corner of their boundless imagination.
What kind of mother am I, having thoughts like these?
Sometimes, I think I’ll turn in my mommy badge,
Then they say something or do something
And I cement myself into this role and I never want to leave.
Not in this moment though.
My badge is on the table, next to my glass of wine.
“Mommy, haven’t you heard me calling you?”
She cracks open the door,
Her wet curls dangling in front of the glass.
Her voice, raspy from the hour and a half tantrum
She had this afternoon.
“I couldn’t, honey, I’ve been out here writing.”
I close my laptop, afraid she’ll see and I’ll ruin her forever.
“Mommy, I’m sleepy now. Will you sing to me?”
“Of course, baby. Come here.”
I scoot to the inside of the couch,
Wrapping her little bones in mine,
Her damp hair cooling my chest.
We sing our songs:
Good night, sweetheart, well it’s time to go, badoom, badoom…
Don’t worry, about a thing, ‘cause every little thing’s gonna be alright…
“Ruby, can you spot the first star in the sky?”
“There! Haaa, do you see it too?”
“I do, baby. Time for night night.”
I hold her hand all the way up the stairs.
Emma is waiting for me, too.
“Mommy, will you sing to me now?”
“Of course, let me just tuck Ruby in.”
I sit on the edge of Emma’s bed.
We sing, then we snuggle.
I listen to her symphony of questions and try to answer them all.
Each night, we hold hands until the last fingertip has no choice but to slip away—
Like I’m falling off a cliff,
Or she’s falling off a cliff
And our lives depend on each other’s.
“Mommy! One more hug!”
I give each of them one more hug.
They serenade me (our nightly ritual) as I descend down the stairs:
“I love you, Mommy!”
“I love you too, Mommy!”
“I love you girls more than you’ll ever know.
To the moon and back and back and back…”
“Are you going to sleep, Mommy?”
“No, honey, I’m going to go back outside and write.”
The threshold of solitude is underfoot.
My hand, on the latch of liberation,
I hear the dog vomit on the freshly steamed rug.
First, I smile
Then I back up,
Back into this life—
This life that is the love of my life.
Sometimes, I hate being a mom,
But the truth is:
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be on a Saturday night,
Dog vomit and all. ~Rebecca