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Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Importance of a Good Swaddling


That it has been a difficult day is obvious. His shoulders low, his head hangs dejectedly.

Fifth grade is hard.

“Bad day?”

He smiles sadly, somewhere between wistful and apologetic. “Yeah.”

“Somebody I can beat up for you?”

He sighs and shakes his head.

“I made tapioca for dessert,” I say.

He sighs again and my heart breaks.

“You know what would be nice?”

He looks at me.

“Being little again, before things got so hard. Remember being little?”

He smiles, just a little. He remembers.

“Go get your bedspread.”

He looks at me, looks sideways and narrows his eyes.

“Go on,” I say, gesturing toward his room. “Just pull it off the bed. It’s not like you were going to make it, anyway.”

A small house, the trip from the living room to his bedroom is a matter of no more than a dozen steps.

He returns with his bed cover, and I move the coffee table so that I can spread it out on the living room floor.

He looks at me, a smile creeping over his face.

“Go on,” I say. “You know what to do.”

It’s been many years, but he drops to the blanket, lays his head on one corner; and like I did so many, many times before, I roll him, swaddle him tightly.

“My little papoose,” I say. I sit on the floor next to him, pull him onto my lap as much as I can. His 12th birthday just weeks away, he is already an inch taller than I am.

I put my arms around him, squeeze him and rock back and forth. He laughs, smiles up at me. “Do I look stupid?”

I gaze down at my Boy. “I don’t think you’ve ever looked stupid,” I say.

I hold him to me, his head on my collarbone. I rest my head on the top of his. The late-afternoon sun streams in onto the hardwood floor next to us.

“I feel better,” he says, sheepishly.

I kiss him on the forehead, look out the window. “You’re still just a kid,” I say, my eyes on the red and gold leaves on the tree across the street.

“Mom?”

“Hmm?”

“Were there still strawberries for the tapioca?”

“There were two left,” I say. “Just enough for me and you.”

He sighs. “Good,” he says.

37 comments:

esbboston said...

"snuggle" is Cooper's favorite word. He wiLL always come in from the outside if I ask him if he wants to snuggle with his Ernie.

fishducky said...

So sweet!!

vanilla said...

Good mothers have good memories.

TexWisGirl said...

this is so precious. you're a good mom.

joeh said...

That is a sweet (I don't know another word) story. I only hope fifth graders don't follow your blog.

Tapioca used to be my favorite until someone alled it "Fisheyes" pudding. Now it comes in second after butterscotch.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I feel tingly all over. What a beautiful way to show love to your child. Boys need that as much as girls (maybe even more).

Paula Wooters said...

Nothing like a good swaddle to lift your spirits. Brings back so many memories! Thanks for that, Pearl.

terlee said...

Ahhhh. This brought a tear on a bright autumn morning. How quick the boy becomes a man. Changing seasons, no stopping it...

savannah said...

sweet memories, sister pearl! must be the change of the season because my BFF and i were just talking about our now grown up babies... xoxoxox for you, sugarpie and thanks!

jenny_o said...

You're a good mama, Pearl. Very touching.

Perpetua said...

Pearl, you are truly a gem. :-)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I love this. There is a little kid inside each of us, and sometimes we don't want to admit it, but you knew just what to do. When you are feeling blue, roll up in your bed cover and imagine your mom swaddling and cuddling you. Maybe have some tapioca on hand so you'll be motivated to emerge again.

NotesFromAbroad said...

So, I am weeping ... I will be back to make a comment, after I get over the sweetness of this.
Maybe I will go curl up in a blanket.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

One of those sweet moments you'll both remember forever.

Ms Sparrow said...

Wistful and so sweet.

Indigo Roth said...

Beautiful, Pearl. Indigo x

sage said...

Okay, you've got my vote as "mom of the year." What a lovely story.

Stephen Hayes said...

A charming post. What a wise and caring mom you are. These are the memories that children carry with them forever.

Meeling said...

So cute & so true! They are still just kids. :-)

Karen McQuestion said...

Are you trying to make me cry? Well, it worked. Absolutely LOVED this.

Gigi said...

I remember (and love) this one so well that the tears started just reading the title.

The Elephant's Child said...

It seems you were aiming to make many of your readers weep today. Well it worked here as well. Please try not to make a habit of it. A lovely, lovely caring post. Thank you.

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, that was just too sweet! Loved it.

Rene Foran said...

Awww. My daughter calls being "under my wing" the pocket. At 13 she still asks for the pocket :)

Linda O'Connell said...

You got me right in the mother's heart. Love it!

lime said...

aw bless you both for seizing that moment.

Sextant said...

Well yesterday you spoke of God living in a garage, and today you spoke of God rolling a young lad in a blanket. Sometimes we need God, and sometimes we are needed to be God. Either way the human spirit is Infinite, and it is through love that we very much become God.

middle child said...

I so miss the days when my kids and grandkids were little enough to cuddle like that. I can still get me daughter to sit on my lap though.

River said...

You're a wonderful mum, Pearl.
Often enough a silent, no questions asked hug is all that is needed.

Roshni AaMom said...

awww!! Just adore this post...especially after my own teddy bear incident with my elder son!!!

Rose L said...

Can I borrow you? I could use some snugglin'. Of course, you will need a king size bedspread!!

Teresa Evangeline said...

This is really wonderful, Pearl. Really wonderful. My youngest is 26 now and there are times I wish I could swaddle him and make life be perfect for awhile.

Lin said...

I think we could all use a warm bubble bath and a swaddling every now and then. :)

chlost said...

Well, I am way, way past 12 and I have had days which have made me wish for a little snuggle like that. The world is such a cruel place. Mama Pearl, you are a good, good person.

Pat said...

My boys are fathers now but never too old for a cuddle.

GDad said...

Is somebody chopping onions? My eyes are watering.

momnextdoor said...

Love this! I need to remember this as my six year old gets older. You're never to old to be swaddled! :-)

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