Dear Tre,
The perils of communication

Answers to unspoken requests

I lay on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep. Clay and I had been taking a nap, but he was done sleeping. I could hear him in the next room, doing something on the computer. I thought about getting up, but I was so tired. I closed my eyes and drifted.

With my thumbnail I traced hearts on the fingerprint of my index finger, over and over. It’s a habit I’ve had since I was a little girl. Raphael seems to have inherited his teeming sea of IDEAS from me, and also his boundless enthusiasm for adventure. I also gave Max his ability to get crosswise with people, to get himself in trouble and then sink his teeth into the task of being wrong and BITE HARD.

These traits sometimes left me on the outs with everyone when I was a child; my parents, my brother, my best friend, the cat (who was sick of wearing my doll’s clothes). Not knowing how to make things right, I would place myself in the midst of the action in the house and stand quietly, tracing hearts on my fingertips, or with my arms crossed and my hidden hand writing the iconic message on the hidden inner part of my arm.

Love me, it said, even though I’m making it difficult.

Of course, eventually I learned that people usually won’t give you what you don’t audibly ask for, especially if you’re actively working against them. Eventually I learned to ask.

I thought about that, as I traced hearts on my index finger. Over and over.

I heard Raphael come up the stairs and wander into the room where Clay was.

“Where’s Mama?”

“Shhhh,” whispered Clay, “Mama’s sleeping. Let’s be quiet and let her sleep.”

“Can ah see her?”

“You have to be quiet so you don’t wake her up. Can you do that?”

“Ah don’t want to wake her up, ah just want to look at her.”

“Ok.” Clay picked Raphael up and carried him over so they could peek in on me. I lay still, my eyes closed.
”Ah see her,” breathed Raphael.

“There she is. Isn’t she beautiful?”

“Yes. Mah Mama IS beautiful. Ah love her.”

“Me too.”

“Ah didn’t be noisy.”

“Good job. Do you think you need a cookie?”

“Yes, ah think ah do.”

They left, in search of a cookie. In the still of the empty room I sighed deep contentment. My thumbnail traced hearts on my finger.

And then it stilled too.



Sigh, you write so beautifully. I'm so glad you share your life with us.


I long for the day when someone says to me, "Good job. Do you think you need a cookie?"


*sigh* Clay is so cool. I'm so glad you have him in your life!


Awww. That is so wonderful. I am so happy for you. Everything just sounds perfect.


Has Clay told you that he loves you before? What a cool way to hear it!



I see that beauty, too, even though we've never met. :) I believe I said it when we spoke (regrettably, not in person) while I was in Denver, this couldn't have happened to a nicer girl.


Ack! That is so sweet! What a cute kid. I may have to come over there and kiss him on the forehead.

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