Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Motherhood, a work of flash fiction.

I know, I know mother's day is over. You've seen every last blog post you can handle on the subject. If you hear the word mom one more time, your going to denounce the celebration for the rest of your life. Well, be prepared to denounce. I wasn't going to do this. I realize how painstakingly late it is, but I just had to share.

I wrote this on mother's day as a way to remember one small thing I love about my children. It begged to written, and now it begs to be shared. I'm sure it's full of flaws, but it's time for me to share some of my work with you. So here goes - Motherhood, a work of flash fiction.

I am nearly asleep when I hear the blood curdling scream. The first reaction at that ungodly hour is that someone has died. It's the kind of scream that instantly carries me from my dream land to the confused existence of awake.

In such a state, it takes a few moments for realization to dawn. No one has died. It's only the baby screaming for attention. I think about rolling over. I consider pressing the pillow to my ear and dropping back into my sweet oblivion. She screams again.

"Okay, okay." I say, to psyche myself into getting up. I drag my feet and hang my head, hoping somehow alertness with fly into my eyes from out of some dim hiding place. I get to her doorway and press my ear. I haven't heard so much a squeak for the past minute.

Maybe she went back to sleep! I think, happiness filling my breast. I nearly run back to the soft folds of my sheets. My body aches for the place where the warmth will never ask for anything, only let me seep into its happy haven.

I'm back at my bedroom door when she screams again. No such luck. I hobble over to her room, exasperation filling me to the core. I don't want to be angry, but I am. What kind of child wakes their parents at two a.m.?

I swing open her door, ready to show her who's boss around here. Ready to let her know we will have no more early morning screaming sections. I glare in her direction. She stands in her crib, wide blue eyes staring happily in my direction. Her soft blond hair sticking out like a baby bird's feathers. Her blanket, pillow, and two bears are strewn across the floor. She's been busy throwing everything she can on the floor. It's the only way she can express her need to be out of the crib.

We look at each other, and she jumps up and down as if she ready to play. I, however, am not entertaining any such notions. I take a step into the room, "Hi." She says in her sweet, high-pitched, fifteen-month-old voice. I'm not ready to give in, yet. After all, it is still two in morning.

I pull her out of the crib and turn her sideways to check her diaper. It's clean. Why on earth are you awake? I think. She giggles. I'm not falling for that one either. This child will go back to bed.

I set her on the floor as I reassemble the strewn accessories. When all is ready I pick her back up. She grabs me tight and pats my back. Her head rest softly on my shoulder and I take in a breath of her sweet baby smell. She murmurs some soft noise that makes my heart melt. It's enough to almost crack my hard shell and let her stay up, but the need for a few more hours of sleep wins out.

I gently place her in the crib and watch as she huddles under her blankie, peeking at me for any sign of forgiveness. "Goodnight Madeline" I whisper, stroking her face. She contentedly rolls over to hug her bear, not a care in the world. Oh the days of innocence! If only I could return.

I tiptoe out of the room and sigh. I find that I'm grinning widely, foolishly. Yes, I am glad she is going back to bed. I am glad she will let me sleep just a little while longer. I am glad she has not put up a fight, but the real reason I smile is because know I have a little girl who loves me. Even if she wakes me up at two a.m. to tell me so.


Sarah said...

So cute. My favorite part to read was the baby bird feather metaphor.

Stacey Donaldson said...

That is beautiful! Motherhood is such a gift - one of which is forgiveness. You are never more willing to forgive another person for causing you pain, discomfort, grief, and strife than your own children. They teach you how to forgive others and to forgive yourself too. It's an amazing pay-it-forward journey!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog :-)

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Homemade Alaska said...

What a beautiful post! It brings back so many memories from when mine were little. Such a precious time.

Brandii Nicole said...

This is a beautiful post & captures the emotions you feel as a mother at 2AM when your baby is crying perfectly.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, http://princessposhh.blogspot.com

I can't wait to

GJT said...

Love the writing! I think this actually happened at my house last night, with the addition of my daughter pitifully whispering "Milk?" Gosh, they know how to get you, don't they?

J. A. Bennett said...

Thanks for all the love! It's really hard to put something out there unsure of what people will think. You guys are the best!

Debbie Does Coupons said...

New follower from sit and relax weekend blog hop. Please visit me and follow back at http://debbiedoescoupons.com

Michelle said...

Love this. It's frustrating when kids wake us, but sometimes I just look at it as extra time to love on 'em. My 4 yr. old still wakes up and gets me a lot of the time. It's fine every now and then, but if it happens more than once a night, I'm like the beginning of your story. . . angry. But, last night I was woken by her saying, "Can you rock me Sweet Momma?". I just held her, rocked her and thanked God for her, Even though I was tired. Thanks so much for stopping by and linking up today @ the S& R hop! Sorry for the long comment!

J. A. Bennett said...

Michelle - no need to apologize! I love the sweet spirit of our little ones, even though it is sometimes easy to get frustrated. I wrote this mostly to help me remember those tender times that I know won't last forever!

Patricia said...

Sweet and Sour that is kind of like motherhood and we can enjoy them both.
I am following you via SRW blog hop. Please follow me.

mmbear said...

Came by thru the blog hop and am now following your blog thru GFC and Networked Blogs. I did not see a twitter or Facebook button so I could not follow those. Let me know if I need to come back. I would greatly appreciate a follow back especially on Facebook. That is my weak link right now. Thanks for your help and have a wonderful weekend.


A Gracious Home said...

Great post. Moms just never get enough sleep. I wish there had been computers back when my children were little. That way I could rock and play FV at the same time. Doylene

Melanie said...

Oh, I loved that! Those little ones know how to get you with those sweet little voices and those big innocent eyes and that patting thing with their head on your shoulder! They have to learn that just before they come down from Heaven, because that is always when they get to me! So eloquently written - my favorite Mother's Day post I've read, (and I've read a lot!)

Emz said...

Great post! Beautiful! I joined via GFC, please visit me back at www.fourlittlemonsters.com and follow me too :-)

Jenny S. Morris said...

WOW! I LOVE this. You show the realness of being a parent, and how they can just sneak their little love into your heart.