Sunday, March 01, 2009

A mother's day begins at the crack of covers

Cold. Air.

Ittybit has pulled the covers off my bedraggled head and now she’s screaming into the sheets.

"Mom. Get. Up."

"No. No. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! … I don’t want to get up. I want to lay right here. Like this. Until you go to college."

She doesn’t believe me.

I squeeze my eyes shut and drag the quilt up to my shoulders. I shove the rest of me under the pillow.

I can think of a thousand things I don’t want to do. Why bother getting out of bed to face them?

Her father snorts back a laugh. He’s been awake for hours.

Together the pair has been milling about the house breaking eggs and fixing coffee, waiting impatiently for the pair of lazy bones to get a move on. They’ve emptied the dishwasher, started a load of laundry. They’ve learned what happened in the world overnight and they’re beginning a list of what the day has in store.

Meanwhile, the boy and I have been ignoring the clattering of empty pots for at least 45 minutes now. Every so often he lifts his head - his face screwed into a puzzled look as if to say ‘Morning? Already? No. Can’t be!’ - only to plant his face back into the pillow and resume a pleasant snore.

"Mooooooooooooooom!" she chides, undeterred by my lack of forward motion. "… You are missing out on everything."

With the exuberance of youth and boundless energy, she tells me of all that the day could hold:

We could go sledding. … Or I could take a ski lesson. … We could go to lunch … or on a play date … or to the movies … or to the park.

"I know. We could go to Disney World.

My silence in the face of this revelation is not a deterrent to her.
"I’ve always wanted to go to Disney World," she chirps away to herself although I am listening.

I brood over the images now swirling in my head.

It occurs to me as she continues to sing the praises of a place she's never been, that if Disney World were a warm, dark cave filled with fluffy pillows and warm down comforters — if Mickey himself never so much as opened his mouth, not even for a muffled chortle — it would be a very happy place for people like me: People who not interested in seeing a marketer’s version of the Happiest Place on Earth.

People such as myself need to sit in the dark like mushrooms, for as long as we are allowed, and bask in the glow of anti-social oblivion.

We are people who sit on the edge of that one last straw, the one that threatens to fracture the dromedary’s back.

If we're lucky what we wait for is some little someone to peel back the covers, open the windows and chase away the dark.

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