The Child

November 13, 2018


I kept the Child this morning.  At ten months she’s moving fast, with clear aim.  But she does stop to smell the roses, that is, she makes time in her travels to experience each rug-pattern, as if she hasn’t experienced it a hundred times before.

When shown through the window the wind whipping the trees, she makes a whooshing sound, springing I suppose from desire.  It’s forty degrees today and sleeting, so no, Amelia, we cannot go out. But we can dream.

Such a close observation, such a cutting of her eyes at Grandpa from safe in my lap, sizing him up, and then to the ground where in her own good time she edges, edges toward him, eyes cast down but then oh so casually their hands ‘happen’ to meet and she’s in his lap.

Such a sizing up of her own state of being:  she takes an awkward tumble off a footstool onto her back, pauses to consider if she will cry.  She does.  Honey sweeps her up, but she’s almost through crying anyway.

She pulls up on everything, steps along on tiptoe, slaps tiny hands on table tops, drums on the shiny side of the kitchen trashcan. The dearest pulling up is when hunger or sleepiness catches her, and she crawls soundless to my feet and starts to climb my pants, knowing that Honey will provide what is needed.




Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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