Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bananas, death and love

At 6:40 this morning Cole climbed onto my bed and pressed his cheek to mine and said, "Wake up sleepyhead." After a minute or two of snuggling and love he said, "Do you want a "manna"?; translation--banana or Amanda. I took it to mean banana because for a few weeks now I've been eating one banana before I get up to try to quell nausea resulting from, um, pregnancy (the first time that I've said this here). I answered, "yes" and "please" and then Cole walked downstairs to find a banana, climbed upstairs and onto the bed with the banana and asked, "Mama, you die?"; translation--Are you dying? Aidan, now in the room and listening said, "Honey, she's not dying, she's just sick because she's going to have a baby." Cole said, "oh" and that was the end of it.

I have a couple of questions here: First, how does a two-year-old know, without prompting, to ask his nauseated mother if she wants a banana? Second, how does a four-year-old know to explain to her two-year-old brother that his mother is not dying--that she's having a baby, though I've hardly talked with her about it? And how does my two-year-old know what dying is? No one he knows has died, except Henry and he slept through that. And I haven't killed anything in his presence, on purpose, yet.

Last, and aware that I've asked more than two questions: How does a mother keep from crying uncontrollably over beautiful, perfect moments such as these? How does she? Not even the screaming and fighting over a raw, wagon-wheel pasta necklace a few minutes later can stop it--the emotion, the fiercest of motherly respect, and the not-oft-enough realization that these little beings are wise and loving in a way that a mother may never understand no matter how many questions she asks.

1 comment:

James said...

& how does a friend reading about bananas, death and love not tear up, become a bit wet in the eye, when reading about such tenderness & wisdom?

w/ love,
James