“It’s better when it’s crunchy” says Jack. He pulls his, now murky blue teddie through his legs, positions it like a loin cloth. It’s his special thing, his favorite crunchy thing he’s ever seen. I wash it clean and the next day it’s crunchy again, just the way he likes it. Fiona has one too, Tiny. Hers is soft and smells good, she sucks her thumb and kneads Tiny with her hand. I have no reason to take Fiona’s Tiny away. Jacks on the other hand, needs immediate removal but I don’t have the heart. We have a dentist appointment in a few weeks, last time the dentist told us we need to think about letting blue blue go. That was six months ago and since that conversation Jack has only held on tighter to blue blue and made him more crunchy. What’s a mom to do with a special Blue? I told Jack and Fiona last night I would take a picture of their blues and put them in a special box. They both grabbed their blues along with many other stuffies and said, “Don’t give them away, we want them”. My children will be the forty something year olds with their favorite, deteriorated, blues in their adult beds, or hidden in their bedside table. Who knows what conversations go on between them and their blues? Late at night, early in the morning. They are their best friends. What can a mother do?
I wish I had my child hood favorite stuffy. I had many stuffed animals I kept through the years but they all got moldy in leaky rooms. I threw them all away. I can still smell the mustiness of my old things in my memory. In the darkness of this morning I can feel the mustiness of myself. The insomniac. Every year, between the last of October and the first of November I live through 4:00AM wake ups. It leaves me dark space to remember things. The quiet space where everyone is sleeping but me. When I was a little girl I thought there was someone outside my window during these pre-dawn moments. I was scared, until the sun started to cast light onto the dewy ground outside. I opened the back door and quietly stepped outside to investigate around my window, were there any foot prints? I moved on to look for animal prints, then any interesting changes in the trees, or the dirt, or the old wood the house was built with. I looked at my toy horses in the dirt, did they move since yesterday? No, probably not. My hand grabs the damp plastic body of my favorite Breyer Buckskin mare, moves her through the dirt and cold wet grass gets my pajamas all wet, my feet all dirty. I play until I think it’s safe to go back in the house, until I know my mom is probably awake and I’m not going to disturb her morning slumber.
This morning the sun is taking a long time to come up. My whole house sleeps. Quietly I write, drink my coffee and eat my toast. I am the early riser. It leaves me today with a soreness and thirst, a slight fatigue. Everyone else in this house will be well rested and full of energy. I will plug along, hopefully I will not disappoint my family with lack of expendable energy, I hope they will understand.