Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"Momma. Lulu made the microwave start buzzing." Jane plunks down the stairs. I stoke the fire. "I think she was trying to warm up her rice bag," Jane adds.

"Just open it 'til I get up there, ok?"

"Ok." She runs upstairs. Her feet thump on the wooden steps.

I pause to roll Rosie to her back, poke her ribs, swaddle her with a fresh orange diaper. I kiss her tummy. She laughs, waves Lincoln Logs at me. "Thank-you," I say. Jane trundles back downstairs, and we do the sign language for thank-you over and over. Rosie just waves, smiles.

We linger until lunch is late.

Rosie in one arm, blankie in the other, I head for her room. A short night's sleep and the stairs seem deep. I squish Rosie's cheek against mine. When I round the corner to nestle her in the almost too small cradle, I don't see it at first. Lulie.

There, squeezed like a snail in a shell, sound asleep, Lulie -- in the cradle. Suddenly, I remember: the microwave and the rice bag. Like Eve in the garden Lulie's hidden and covered herself -- with her blankie.

I switch my babies and scoop Lu and blankie up on my hip. "Honey, were you scared?"

She nods. I sway. "Were you hiding from me."

"Uh." She watches me out of the corner of her eye.

I hug her to me. "Honey, remember the truth will make me happy." I pause. "What happened?"

Tiny steps of truth, we unravel her fears.

"See," I say. "the truth makes me happy. Next time you should run and tell me. And don't you feel better too?"

She nods.

"The truth makes you happy TOO." We cuddle and sway and banish the power of secrets between us.


Melinda said...

Beautiful post. Your blog background is really beautiful! I really enjoyed visiting today.

Wandering On Purpose said...

Such an important moment for both of you. Beautiful writing.

Abby said...

this is a very sweet post and so tender how it speaks to what little hearts know about what they've done and also that fallen precious to be the redeemed mama, eh?

i found you through emily's...blessings:)

Ostriches Look Funny said...

you are teaching me so much. Thank you.

Rachelle said...

Parenting always provides a teaching moment, huh?! You are such a good momma and I just love reading all your experiences. I feel like I should be taking notes!! :)

Goat said...

The image of Lulie making herself small and hidden overlaid with with the largess of the story of Eve--stunning.

Bon@CoffeeisMyLove said...

Bethany I just love you;)

Kati patrianoceu said...

"The truth makes me happy" - that's a fascinating lesson! I see why you say it and why it's true. But also, can think of too many times when the truth has made me sad. A holy sad, perhaps, but deeply sad.

Craig and Bethany said...

Yes, I know what you mean, Kati. I suppose that's why the impulse to hide is so strong. Even so, I think, truth is proof of trust. Trust allows for sadness, unspeakable grief. Truth offers trust -- what greater token of love?

alittlebitograce said...

oh the pouting lip! so sad and adorable at the same time. i'm not sure which i liked more, the teachable moment or the image of lulie snuggled and asleep in the too-small cradle. your writing is beautiful.

emily wierenga said...

oh bethany, you don't know how happy i was to see that you linked. you always teach me so much and i love visiting your home. the place where you stoke fires and nestle babies and teach truth which makes you happy. you have such a gift. and you don't know how you spoke wisdom to me on my blog, about your mother, and how she viewed child-raising as the most important part of her life. i needed to hear that. i will tell you more later. so much love to you, dear friend.

Lori said...

One of your best, friend!