Oh Baby

As you go out, I go in to worry, my interior stomach, my too-much-to-take-in-this-world-sandwich of what have we done by making a baby who will leave one day?

My mom tells me it’s an age-old story, this story I am living right now.

A friend tells me she hated the whole last year before her beloved left for college.

I worry incessantly about my baby’s brace-covered teeth, like if she just carried a toothbrush everywhere, all would be well.

I type in the morning and hope it’s enough of a blessing. A blessing to heal my nerve endings. I’m guessing that’s what is needed most: a balm for the grief that gets misplaced in worry. The way I dream about a baby who lives on her own every night. A baby who I visit with a stranger in the morning. A stranger who says this baby can’t live on her own forever.

Or can she?

We never live on our own forever. We carry these people who we collected over a long lifetime. Sometimes we set them down. Except for those babies who we had a hand in bringing into this world. We keep re-naming them as they change, forgetting that they name themselves as they begin to circle out ever further from home.

I call my baby her name in a thousand ways. I hold it to myself. It is too precious to scatter to the winds. I pretend if I say it quietly inside of myself, she won’t scatter as the wind blows snow everywhere: the sky white, waiting to drop more precipitation.

Oh, baby: your toothbrush still lives at home.



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