Sunday, September 21, 2008

Those Five Letters Save Me

I stared through the chipped, wrought iron fence to the pool beyond. It had been drained; the month of August ending, taking with it summer break and all of its customers. The dull, grey cement that was once the deep, aquamarine blue of water depressed me. I remembered being there countless times this summer, with Little C and L and all of my sisters, and now it was all gone, quiet and whispery, the only evidence left behind of sun and summer and tans was a half-melted bottle of sunblock and a Butterfinger wrapper that was glued to the cement with its own chocolate. The empty pool gaped at me, a grave for summer. I turned my back to it, wiped the tears from my cheeks that were sliding from behind my sunglasses. I briefly wondered how hard it would be for me to jump the fence and lie down in the deep end, and I wondered how long it would take for anybody to find me. Stop being such an angsty adolescent, B, I warned myself. Curling up in the deep end? Nice.

C’mon, C, let’s go. Mother and son turned from the fence and continued their walk around M Park. We climbed rocks and sat under a tree and watched a family play baseball in the diamond. We listened to a confused rooster continually crow out the announcement of dawn, and after awhile C started to imitate it, caaaackadoooollleedoo! He’d look at me every time he crowed, and I’d smile at him and laugh and he’d run off and play, his chest puffed out in pride knowing he was a good boy who did good things because his mama said so.

I stared at the sun and pretended not to care as C stomped on ant holes, trying to think, boys will be boys, and calm down, Brie, they’re just ants. After I couldn’t bear it anymore, I led him away.

The sun was setting, and it seemed that we had no other option than to go home. We were nearing the empty, hollowed out pool again, and I picked up C and hurried past it.

Mommy. C said this solemnly, tilting his enormous blue eyes up to me. C says Mommy in a number of ways, and just by the inflection in his voice, I can tell if he’s really saying that he’s embarrassed or excited or frustrated or scared. But this Mommy simply said I love you.

I love you too, I whispered, and kissed him on his cheeks and forehead about a million and two times. Mommy, C says again, and then pats me on the back. Mommy.

He squirms to get out my arms as he sees the car come into view , and he darts ahead, and then, just as quickly, stops abruptly.
Mommy, Mommy.
He comes back and takes my hand. Hold it! He instructs, and I obediently cling to my life preserver.

We drive home, singing along to Elmo, and I think that out of all the things anybody said to me today, Mommy was my favorite.

For those five letters save me. Every single day they save me.


Emily said...

I'm glad those letters save you, Brie. I want you around, and I am sure many, many others do too.

Brooke said...

Gotta love it. Our kids are truly life preservers. On little thank you or one little kiss, can make your whole day.

alana.rachelle said...

i absolutely lurrrrved this post. it was both poinient (sp?) and beautiful, just like my ddf brie! :)

Krista said...

You made me cry. This was beautiful and I can totally relate. I'm so happy you have cute little C in your life. Little boys can be angels from heaven sometimes.

Kathy with a K said...


H said...

Purely heart-felt, Brie. I'm glad Cade is able to comfort you, even as young as he is. It shows great maturity for a chile to look outside himself and aknowledge another's sadness. He's so wise.

KC Elaine said...

absolutely beautiful

Devon said...

Beautifully written and incredibly touching my dear. Blessings come when you need them most, don't they?

Laura said...

Keep the Cade stories coming. What a beautiful, simple, way to focus on what truly matters. Stories about being a mommy.

THAT is a label you can be proud of.

Sarah said...

Oh Brie, this is so beautiful. I am so thankful for you and C. It makes me happy to know you're in the world, together.


Laur said...

I loved that Brie. You are the best writer ever. You know I am just as disappointed by Summers end as you are. I hope next summer can be as great as this one was and we can spend every day crisping in the sun over at the pool. love ya

alriggells said...

That was beautiful. I am glad you have C, and I am glad he has you. You are both so beautiful. I love you