Skip to content


February 10, 2015

I tuck the waterproof pad into the back couch cushions, wedging it tightly. It crinkles, perhaps in protest, or maybe just  groaning in solidarity. I lay the waterproof cover on the floor, securing it tightly under the couch to protect the carpet. I put a clean, soft blanket on the couch. Position the bucket just so.

Dark circles and I shuffle slippered feet into the kitchen. Squirt squirt the Clorox Clean-Up, wipe it all down. Rinse. Repeat. Same pattern with the door handles, light switches, bathrooms. I give many thanks to Clorox Wipes.

I created a make-shift, easy-to-wash bed on the guest room floor, since I’ve no interest in cleaning vomit that could catapult from the loft bed.

The washing machine swish-swishes, dryer clink-clinks. We go to sleep, him on the floor, me in the guest bed. Side-by-side in our bunker.

“Mom? MOM!”

At 3 am, at 4 am, at 5 am the calls come from the floor, piercing tentative sleep. I squat down, rub his hot back, push the hair from his eyes. Grabbing for the bucket as I whisper love into the dark, a constant thread. I’m so sorry. Oh sweet love. It’s OK. Promises of the future, perhaps, but really of no consolation now.

“Can I just have a bath?” he asks, two hot-points of red, beacons on his grey face. I help him climb into the tub, worried that after three days of no food, he may slip, fall, concussion, thoughts swirl in cloaks of anxiety as they do in the dark.

I perch on the toilet, bent elbow and hand hold up my weary head. Why is my head so heavy? His fingers move just enough to splash the water gently against the tub’s sides. Soft light filters from the small recessed light above.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

He climbs out, all angles and bones. I wrap the white towel around his hot, small frame. He turns his back to me and plops himself into my lap. I wrap my arms around and inhale the soap, the scent of his Clorox-washed towel, him. He burrows in.

“I love you, Mommy.”

“Oh sweetie. Oh my love. I love you, too.”

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2015 9:07 am

    Oh, you two. This is one of those heartbreaking dances that we do, isn’t it? Your love came right through the screen. Sleep well. xo

  2. February 10, 2015 9:21 am

    Oh, this is so evocative. I have so been there. Love, love, love YOU. xox

  3. February 10, 2015 9:54 am

    What a good mom you are. You must be exhausted. Many wishes for health and sleep. Xoxo

  4. February 10, 2015 10:09 am

    This is love, isn’t it? I felt every gorgeously described detail. Sending *you* much love and strength…

  5. February 10, 2015 10:24 am

    Oh, have so been there and done that. And for them, it’s love. Sweet love. He will remember this love, even when he is old and gray . . .

  6. February 10, 2015 11:10 am

    Oh Denise… what beautiful writing. And exquisite, unconditional love between you two. Sending my own to you, and wishes for easy recoveries xo

  7. Martie Sands permalink
    February 10, 2015 11:43 am

    Aaawwwhhh. How sweet and the exhausting life of a mom. ❤️ Hope this isn’t current.

    Love, Martie Sent from my iPad


Give me your grit.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: