Dinner was a shocking success. No tears over spills or claims that you are the worst mom ever because you prepared something nasty. That they would vomit right there if they had to take even one eensy bite. No. They swarmed the table like locusts, eating everything and asking for more. And when it was done, truly done, the serving dishes bare, they sprang from the table and pattered away like a sudden Summer rain.

You sit alone. There are only the remnants on plates: small bits of rice and a few drips of sauce. You could call them back to clear the mess, but they are laughing and spinning and exclaiming that life is better than great. You enjoy their voluminous joy and your distance from it. You enjoy your own fullness, and a deep, infrequent sense of success.

Let them play amongst themselves. Your work is finished for now.

Later, there will be bedtime stories and cuddles and kisses. There will likely be tears as you settle them under night-darkened blankets. They will whisper their fear of monsters breathing in the dark. They will hold you as you kiss their soft faces, as you transition to the life you live while they drift in sleep.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

2 Discussion to this post

  1. Love these mom moments! It’s a whole different thing when they become teens. But I’m still enjoying the ride! Thanks for another awesome post!

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  2. Anna Palmer says:

    How LOVELY. Night darkened blankets, soft faces, and the parent’s life after sleep. Thanks!

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