Closer to fine

Monday I stayed home with two sick-but-steadily-approaching-healthy boys. We loafed in our jammies most of the morning, changing only once it was time to go collect the sister of the bunch from school late in the afternoon. Lunch was small and plain, but good: bananas, peanut butter, blueberries, olives. Noah and I put together a Lego Transformer/car/super duper whatsijigger, only I kept handing him the wrong pieces as we plodded through the instruction booklet. “Here it is!” I’d say with a flourish. He’d take it from me and lay it aside softly, other hand already fitting together the correct parts. We barricaded the forbidden sections of the living room from Max the Invader, ever belly-inching forward to conquer the Land of Lamp Cords and The Great Fireplace Cavern. Mostly we used pillows. It made the room seem sleepier somehow, more contained. Everything slowed to the pace of a creeping baby and a furrowed 8-year old brow.

At nap time I held Max, warm and floppy against my chest in the bedroom as the clickety-clack of Legos wafted through the wall from where Noah sat, sorting and connecting them. I lifted Max to my shoulder just before lowering him to his bed and caught the faint scent of L’s cologne, lingering on the temple he kissed goodbye hours before as he slipped out the door into the cold. Taking care to step around the creakiest floorboards, I padded back to the ongoing whatsijigger operation, sticking my hands once more down into the piles of cool, knobby, pointy plastic, searching for the next piece that would help bring us closer to our whole.

2 comments

1 Ali Hales { 02.06.13 at 6:39 am }

Beautiful, Rachel.

2 Darth { 02.07.13 at 12:17 pm }

This is prose-poetry. I’ve seen worse (FREQUENTLY) published in, for example, THE NEW YORKER. Wish I knew how to get your writing in front of an open-minded poet. Maybe I’ll try.

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