Email 14

When Alex was young enough to be in a high chair and bathed by his

parents, I wrote the following about that regular, daily experience. I’m

glad today to know I felt this way then. Maybe it means I never took him

for granted. I pray to God that I never did.

stub134 - Version 2

Goodnight

 

 

He rubs his spaghetti

into his eyes

he soaks me

with his drink

I need to get him

in the tub

his dishes

in the sink

so with a moistened

paper towel

I wipe his hands

and cheeks

he just

returns the favor

with punches

kicks and shrieks

but I savor

each annoyance

of this moment

and this place

because one day

he won’t need me here

to wipe

his hands and face

 

 

He’s heavy

on my back

as I take him

up the stair

laughingly

he pounds my neck

with handfuls

of my hair

as we reach

the very top

he risks his life

and mine

all his fingers

in my eyes

our legs

all intertwined

but even

as he’s strangling me

I try not

to care

because one day

he won’t need me here

to take him up the stair

When he hears me

start his bath

 

 

he takes off

down the hall

a naked

screaming banshee

who ignores me

when I call

and once I get him

in the tub

I can’t get

him out

with his thrashing

and his splashing

my clothes are

soaked throughout

but I accept

his tidal waves

remaining

in their path

because one day

he won’t need me here

to see he

gets his bath

 

 

Before he goes

to bed I try

to brush his teeth

and hair

he yanks away

the toothbrush

toothpaste flying

everywhere

when he’s finally

in his bed

and there’s time

for me myself

he has to

hear a story

so I take one

from the shelf

but as one hand

turns the pages

the other

holds him tight

because one day

he won’t need me here

to wipe his hands and face

and take him up the stair

and see he gets his bath

and brush his teeth and hair

and read to him a story

and then turn out the light

bring his covers to his chin

and say to him

 

 

goodnight

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