Sunday, November 9, 2014

Now we are four

I think I'll always have that little baby in my mind when I think of how amazing she is now.  At four, LB had a friends party and loved giving out Hello Kitty plates.  Her favorite animal is the giraffe.  She loves puzzles and suddenly gone from struggling with a four piece interlocking puzzle to being able to do a big puzzle on her own.  She likes to wear sundresses, shorts, and t-shirts even as winter closes in.  When she excited she does a little running skip and jump and looks like a tiny blond fairy.  She needs mamma and mommy and her blanket "bit,"and wants to be held and hugged and kissed.  She plays babysitter, which requires a mom, baby, and babysitter: the mom goes to work, and the baby tells her not to be long, and the babysitter says mom with be home soon.  She likes daycare as long as she doesn't have to stay to late in the afternoon.  The other parents say she is always sunny and happy.  She likes to watch Frozen and Babe.  She's memorized Richard Scarry's Bunny book, and it is the cutest thing ever to hear her say "Angora rabbits have soft cuddly fur."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Preemie Memories

November is Prematurity Awareness month, for what it's worth.  In my writing class, I did an exercise describing an object with sentimental meaning, and describe it for five days without looking back to see what I had written previously:

It fits in the palm of her hand.  A perfect impression, the plaster only crumbling along one edge.  How could feet that small belong to a person?  The tiny lines and creases preserved.  The plaster is grey, but the memory is pink feet.  Tiny human pink feet already scarred with needle holes.  Pink feet against a background of florescent lights, machines beeping, digital numbers rising and falling on monitors. the footprints sit in plaster, in a box, in tissue paper.

Wrapped in pink tissue paper in a closet on a shelf in a crate in another box, in another box.  “It must be in here.” Something so important must be here where it should be.  She digs past the vacuum cleaner with the canister that crashes off, past the wrapping paper, past the weights.  It’s not in the torn cardboard box, not in the shopping bag, but in the orange crate.  She digs, unpacks, and lifts.  Uncovered.  A tiny plaster cast of two feet. Perfect feet with lines and creases.  Like human feet, in tissue, in a box, in a box, in plaster

The footprints fit in her hand.  Gray plaster in the shape of a scallop shell, the impression of the feet creased and veined.  She imagines what she did not see.  The nurse, name forgotten, releases the side panel on the isolette.  She strokes the baby's head and moves the wires to the side.  Her gloved hands lift the baby's feet.  Deftly into the plaster and back out.  Did the nurse sing or coo? Did she rock a startled baby?  The footprints don’t remember.

Tiny footprints preserved in plaster—gray toes and lines and creases like real feet.  The real feet attached to the baby were pink and in motion, scarred by needles, taped down, glowing with a pulse ox, kicking and pushing.  The plaster feet stay still and silent.

Footprints in a scallop shell.  Tiny feet preserved in gray, toes and lines and creases, perfect and silent.  “Mama, mama, mama” four years later she doesn’t sleep at bedtime.  Dirty feet in purple butterfly flipflops as the leaves fall.  Chipped nail polish feet in motion kicking and crunching leaves.  Dirty feet thump and run overhead long past bedtime. Plaster feet stay wrapped in tissue paper in a box in a box in a closet.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The giraffe doesn't fall far from the tree

LB was a giraffe in a sea of Elsas and it was good. We went trick or treating on historic Benefit street, more for the adults than the tired child, but she was still charming, and said all the things she was supposed to say to strangers who gave her candy.