Monday, March 06, 2006

Little Plastic Bracelet

While stealing a little snuggle with husband this morning before he jumped out of bed and ran away, I felt that familiar stirring that results from simply feeling the warmth of his skin through his pajamas. Funny, I vaguely recall he used to sleep naked when we were first married. I was shocked really that I could feel this way so soon again and any thoughts of acting on them were quickly erased by three things. The first was the fact of my still swollen belly, paunching out so blatantly, hanging off to one side like an appendage, between us. The second was the sheer hugeness of my pendulant, leaky breasts. More like loaded weapons than play things. And lastly, baby Isla, fussing in her basinette at the foot of the bed as if to rescue me from having to face the demons that are my poor body image. It is a burden, really to be married to such an impossibly lean and unencumbered man. My husband has the stomach of a 16 year old, still, at age 50.

My mom called yesterday to tell me that she was cleaning out her bedside table drawer and came upon a tiny plastic hospital bracelet with the inscription: Baby girl Shaw, 12.20 65, 7:39 p.m. My I.D. bracelet. As she relayed this, she went silent several times. She kept repeating, “it’s so tiny,” bringing herself to tears each time. She then threatened to hang up out of sheer embarrassment. I loved this conversation. I had just been thinking about how my mother can't bring herself to say “I love you” because it makes her feel false and embarrassed. How I have never heard her say this to me, yet I have never once doubted that she does. That very same day, she inadvertently showed me that I was right.

Last night, as I tiptoed past Esther’s room where Ian was purportedly putting Esther to bed. I saw a very different scenario. Esther was sitting up reading Ian a story while he lay, snoring, in her bed. Poor, overworked Daddy finds it impossible to stay awake while reading children's books. He falls asleep mid sentence, nods a bit, then continues again. Esther gets really frustrated by this and has apparently figured out a solution. Her little voice was chatting away happily, telling the story of Snow White almost verbatim from the book we have read to her a thousand times over. Little minds are so retentive. She remembers words she doesn’t even know the meaning of. "And they were so enchanted by her beauty that they let her sleep.When she awoke and saw the dwarves she felt very frightened." This might be exactly how Daddy feels when he wakes up to find a four-year-old reading to him.

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