Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Motherhood

Mother’s Day Scene with Bubba

“Here, Mama.” Bubba’s smiling face and chubby feet came bounding my way for a midday reading of Goodnight Moon. Three pages in, he hopped off my lap and ran full speed into the kitchen. “Ooh,” I heard as broom and dustpan banged against the walls coming toward the couch. Somehow, he’d lost his shirt in the 12 seconds he’d been gone, and the diaper, hanging on loosely, was on its way off too.

“What are you doing, Bubba?” I asked, smiling lovingly at him.

“Hey, Baby!” he replied, smiling back.

I watched him play with a kid’s meal toy, climb cautiously in the rocking chair, and practice awkward jumping jacks. I could make out numbers in his heavy-tongued speech: “five, seven, nine, ten, yay!” He wanted me to congratulate him, and I did with claps, hugs, and kisses.

He pulled the pale pink stool to the center of the floor and tried to climb on top of it. “No,” I said sternly, and he shrieked a loud and high-pitched scream. I watched tears fall as he cried for a few seconds more, knowing that he was all right and needed no comforting. He walked solemnly back to the kitchen.

“Bubba?”

“Huh?”

“Come here.”

“No.”

“Bubba?”

“Huh?”

“What are you doing?”

“Eat, eat, Mama.”

“Ok, Bubba.” I walked to the kitchen. He was sitting in his chair playing with his bowl and spoon. I opened the freezer and took out a purple freeze pop.

“Ooh! Thank you,” he said as I placed the frozen treat in his hand. He followed me back to the couch and climbed, cold hands and all, into my lap. I listened to the slurping and crinkling plastic. He laid his head back on my shoulder. The grape smell lifted into my nose with each breath he took.

“I love you, Bubba.”

“Love you, too.”

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