Monday, April 4, 2011
Hand Bone Connected to the Arm Bone
I enjoy church for many reasons, one of which is that I get in my best Cade time, there. On Wednesday evenings--while Cade and I attend choir practice--his sisters stay home with their daddy. During church on Sunday mornings, his sisters hang out in the nursery while Cade and I sing and, afterward, listen to the sermon.
Lately, Cade seems to draw near as soon as his sisters vacate that physical space. He jabs me with his sharp edges: chin, elbows, heels, shoulders. One recent afternoon, I cried out in pain and frustration, and all at once, I knew: Cade crowds me because he misses my touch, because--after nine years of being my only--he became, suddenly, the big kid. (And eighteen months later, the even bigger kid.)
The sisters ain't no joke. The older could tear up a steel ball, and she is vocal, demanding. The younger could suck blood from a turnip. She doesn't have a turnip; she has my body parts.
But just because baby girls are clinging, just because I'm not always watching, doesn't mean my boy's not always growing.
I missed cuddling with Cade in church, today; he sat beside his curly-headed friend, in the next pew up. At one point, he threw a skinny arm up on the back of the pew and let his hand dangle in front of me. I caught it, held it, marveled at how long and lean its fingers. Gone is the soft pudge. I studied hangnails, torn cuticles, red ink on palm, green ink on thumbnail, tiny scabs, dry skin. The hand I held is the hand of an eleven-year-old boy, and I held it long.
He didn't mind.
I didn't want to let go.