Lullaby And Goodnight…

Nine-thirty. I trudged up the rain-soaked walk in the dark at the end of a 56-hour work week. The house was quiet as I slipped off my shoes near the coat rack, wiping away tears as I padded up the stairs and down the hall. I paused at the door and brushed off fresh tears before quietly slipping into our room, and there she was. Sleeping for the moment. Curled up in a tight ball under the quilt her grandmother had made for her and clutching her ever-present buddy, a stuffed lavender puppy named Cosmo.

Ken had set up her travel bed in our room so we would be able to get to her quickly during the long night to come. I set down my bag, pulled off my coat and knelt down next to her, bending to kiss her damp little forehead. Her long curls were slick with sweat and a third set of tears stung my eyelids as I kissed her cracked and bleeding little lips that no amount of salve had been able to obviate. (more…)

Vintage Jacqui – Of Markers And Marabou

Rain. It seemed as if it had been raining forever. It was nearly a year ago. Our then four-year-old daughter, Jacqui, sat plastered to the window, watching the relentless raindrops pound the soil in our front yard.

“Mom, can we go splash in da puddles?”

I peeked around the corner from the kitchen and glimpsed the black clouds and rain-spattered window panes. “No. It’s too cold and rainy outside.”

Jacqui looked at me with all the incredulity that my absurd comment deserved. “But Mom, if dere wasn’t rainy days outside, dere wouldn’t be no puddles to splash in.”

True. And I should have listened, but I had a dozen stuffy reasons to stay inside: It was wet. Too cold. Too much trouble. To Jacqui, my excuses meant one thing: Boredom. In the hands of a child, boredom can quickly escalate from pleas for relief, to unbridled silliness, to full-force, category five, cabin-fever hurricanes. (more…)