Little Words

When we finally get them all to bed, his phone rings.
A sick kid, one who lives close by.
So he slips on his shoes and heads out the door.
(House calls in 2012.
I don’t imagine that happens often.
And it makes my heart swell with pride.)

The wind blows the raindrops onto my bedroom window.
I should go edit those pictures, I think.
But instead I slip on my pjs and brush my teeth.

I flinch just a bit when I hear the garage door start to open.
(I am so easily startled when he isn’t here.)

“Kid looks pretty sick.”
“Oh, yeah?”
“Yeah.  May have to admit him.”
And he’s out the door again.

I’ll just lie down and read until he gets back, I tell myself.
After one paragraph, the words begin dancing on the page and I realize that my eyes are crossing.
It’s 8:30.


I hear him shuffling around in the other room and glance at the clock.
It’s well after midnight and he hasn’t been home long.
He realizes I’m awake and we lie in bed and chat in the dark.

This is what intimacy really is.
These moments when you aren’t even touching but you are closer than ever.

The chatter dies off and his breathing becomes slow and steady.

I knew it would happen like this.
I knew if I fell asleep that early, I’d wake up and be wide awake.

It’s even quieter at 3am than it is at midnight.
Or at least it seems that way, save the wind chimes.

I take advantage of the silence and let my mind roam freely.
And I write words that have been aching to come out – most of which will never be read by any other eyes.
And I edit pictures that have been sitting and waiting – most of which will never be printed out to enjoy.

I wish I had more time and resources to devote to both of them.
But part of my heart breaks when I realize that one day I’ll have plenty of time but no subjects.

Babies don’t keep
It rattles around in my head again.
And I think of Katie Granju’s words, her story (and his).
And I am grateful for this day.
And these children.
And I am certain that today I
“made sure that our children
were protected
and educated
and loved as fiercely as we know how to love them.”

For a second time, my day winds down.
And I close my eyes and whisper big prayers with little words.
Amen and amen.

4 Responses to Little Words
  1. Tara
    January 27, 2012 | 11:08 am

    Not little words, beautiful words.

    And later on, when you have plenty of time? You’ll find other subjects…and after that, there will be GRANDCHILDREN. 😉

  2. Jilu
    January 27, 2012 | 2:27 pm

    You write your life so eloquently! I feel comforted by your words. They make me feel like I’m in a warm, soft chair surrounded by all that I find homey. Thank you for this. I needed it today!!

  3. CathyMartin
    January 27, 2012 | 6:25 pm


  4. Christy
    January 28, 2012 | 9:11 am

    I am so happy I know you and Marsh. Even though it has been almost 7 (really? ) years since I have seen you, you both enrich my life. Your words are always encouraging, inspiring, or give a little color and laughter to tough days, and hearing (and reading between the lines) about what kind of physician your husband is makes me proud to be part of the profession and call him a friend. Thank you. I truly do miss you both and would love to get together sometime….maybe after 7 more years? We will blink and be there!