August 17th, 2010
The call slithers towards me down the long corridor between where I sit and my daughter’s bedroom. It starts quietly, softly, a nighttime whisper hissed from the shadows of the retreating day.
Before I can respond, it comes again. “Mooommmmmmm…” A little louder this time.
I have just, not more than ten minutes ago, tucked my 12 year-old Little Miss in for the night and retreated to the sanctity of our living room. Enveloped by the golden hues of the streetlamp just outside our window, I’m ready to relax, a good book held in one hand, a soothing cup of Zen herbal tea in the other, and the companionable silence of my husband working on his lap top beside me while our two cats sleep the deep, deep sleep of lazy felines. Ah, the end of a long day.
But I know this call. I’ve heard it before. In the quiet, lonely darkness of her room her mind races. The challenges of twelve-year-old-life loom large when illuminated by moonlight and Little Miss needs to talk. It is confession time.
read more »
March 29th, 2010
I am lying awake in bed in the early hours of morning, my husband lost in dreams beside me while darkness shrouds the spring-time day soon to explode outside my window. I am sleepy-eyed and cozy and still in that blissful, transformed state that occurs only when you’ve just woken from a deep and restful sleep and the details of daily reality have yet to flood back into your consciousness to shock you stupid. That’s when I hear it. Like a phantom menace from my daughter’s bedroom emerge the sounds I have come to dread most: Cough-cough, sniffle-sniffle, cough, sniffle, cough-cough. “Please God, please,” I silently pray, “Please, don’t let her be sick again.”
My prayers fall on deaf ears. By the time I reach her bedroom the coughing is intense. Her child-cum-young-lady’s body is convulsing in rhythm to the spasms in her lungs, her cheeks, flushed and warm to the touch, and her face contorted in an expression that screams “Help me, Mom.” She is twelve. I am not new at this. I should be able to keep her healthy. I should be a better mother.
read more »