Friday, March 14, 2008


"It is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us."
-Charles Dickens
It's 10 p.m.; do you know how long your children will stay asleep? This is the question I find myself frequently asking as I force my eyes shut, sleepy or not, knowing that the baby will be wailing at midnight. It's true to say that I've let myself go slightly in the months following the arrival of child number three, and if not for pure exhaustion, I'd be more self-conscious about my appearance. The heartbeat sound on the baby monitor that is supposed to soothe my little infant gives me nightmares of blue teddy bears who have located the kitchen knives. So I toss and turn, muttering explicit phrases I can claim to not remember saying tomorrow.

Then, just as I'm beginning to drift off peacefully, it starts. It's a whimper that keeps on growing into a full-blown cry. As I sit up, I've got Michael Jackson's song "Thriller" in my head; I feel stiff like a zombie. I pass the mirror on the way to the baby's room and my fears are confirmed. The dark rings under my eyes would secure my part as an extra in the music video. Jackson could come over my house right now to do a remake; my backyard connects to an old cemetery.

I look out the kitchen window. The cemetery is quiet and dark. There's a perfectly spooky fog rising over it beyond the fence. The shed door is open, and my overworked imagination pictures the zombies helpfully shutting it for me as they limp across the lawn. Frowning at the baby, who is now wide-eyed and smiling, I wish he were sleeping. In fact, I'm kind of angry that I'm not sleeping.

I turn on the television to keep myself awake. The baby wants to play "blow on your hair." That's a game we made up, for the daytime. He laughs when he gets some strands to move. Lauren Hutton is speaking to me in an infomercial. She knows about my dark circles, and says it's a sure sign of aging. Maybe she's right, I think. After all, if it weren't for the shampoo commercial she did in 1974, I'd be a Jennifer. Mom must have liked something about her. I change the channel just in time to hear another model advise me to improve myself cosmetically, "because you're worth it," she coos.

The little person I'm holding is cooing too, as he looks up at me like I'm the most fascinating and beautiful person he's ever seen. Then suddenly, he digs into my cheeks with his chubby, sharp-nailed little fingers and smashes his slimy open mouth on my face. My son gives me his first baby kiss, followed by a clinging, joyful hug. My eyes are welling up; only I know this precious moment. Suddenly I'm the Grinch on Christmas morning; this little boy melts my heart. I think I'm okay with living life as a zombie. This midnight cuddle session is a moment of joy, and even Lauren Hutton can't bottle that! I'll live with the dark circles, because HE'S worth it.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I seem to curse myself every time I tell people it seems like my daughter is sleeping through the night. I have a week of blissful normal sleep and then - wham - I am back in the endless cycle of sleepless nights due to a tooth, or separation anxiety, or anything to keep mommy close and at attention at night... But she is so sweet I can't be mad at her.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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