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Showing posts from December, 2011

No Room

She pulls down the box of books. She knows they have to go; there's simply too much stuff in the gingerbread house. But these books? These were the books she read over and over to her little gingerbread babies. Sitting in the rocking chair that had been her mother's, she held first one boy on her lap, then another, reading these books day after day, smelling their baby smell, reveling in their baby kisses, with their plump bottoms resting on her legs, their anxious hands grasping the thick pages.

The sweetness of the memories makes her ache. This was the book she read when they first woke up: "Hey little guys! Open your eyes! What do you say? It's a brand new day!" (Sandra Boynton) There was SQUIRREL IS HUNGRY, where she tickled tummies after reading, "Squirrel can put it in his tummy. Yum! Yum!" There were the board books that had creased corners, where the first gingerbread boy used to flick the heavy cardboard with his thumb until they bent. And then…

The Crystal Ball

When she started out, she could see into the future. It always involved breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It involved new school clothes, a Halloween costume, a birthday cake, a Christmas tree, lots of snow, those conversation hearts in February, an Easter basket, then a long summer vacation. The future meant a grade change: first grade to second grade, second to third, third to fourth. It always involved a new teacher, new things to learn, a new classroom.

When she went to high school, things began to get a little murky. There was still breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There were still new school clothes--in fact, there were more school clothes, which was ironic considering she wore a school uniform. There was still a birthday cake, and a Christmas tree, and lots of snow. There was still an Easter basket and a long summer vacation, but the future somehow seemed closer. She could see college looming ahead, but finances made her options somewhat limited. So did her mother. And majors? Sigh. S…