It all seems like too much and not enough. Being a mother.

I’m like the town crier ringing my bell over endless days of strewn socks and wet towels; coaxing Rip Van Winkle from slumber on mornings too cold for birds to fly. Praying circles around destiny and begging God for the imprint of mercy on the sagging middle cushion of their fleeting days of folly.

We’re playing tug-o-war with presence. Not sure when I should let go or hold on tight.

Early morning light sneaks through an absentminded shutter, her bright forefinger beckoning me to his bedside to see. The shape of his head, line of his jaw; the way his arms and legs sprout into every inch of the bed frame. Holding breath while memorizing the moment in my mind.

“I think you grew last night,” I whisper stroking the side of his face to begin our morning dance. “You look older.”

A quick witted response slurs through the slot machine of his mama’s laughter.

And time waves from the broad side of the crack, for the growing done below the surface. The pages of their lives, they are informing mine.

She’s out of breath at the bar, bending minutes to fit her frame. Focused on friendship, college forms, and the hinges of her faith between swallows of orange and time.

She doesn’t think he’s funny. But I  notice the way she lingers longer at the table, smiles at his gibberish banter, wants her friends to see him wearing his new hat. Curious how love looks like the lanky frame of  her brother.

I hold the door open for his armful of books and belts, shoes and sweatpants. Wait for the wave that halts our morning waltz.

Twirling in front of the mirror, we talk about plans and pins and pray for tests. “What do you think,” she says pressing her toes to make her heels tall.

Balancing books and breakfast, elbows hanging with  handles, I push the screen door open greeting the steam of her freshly brewed coffee.

And as I rest my forehead on the slats in front of the dining room window, time’s forefinger curls back toward me through the trails of her tail pipe.

And it all seems like too much and not enough. Being a mother.

A little bit of fun with the prompt: Mother over at Imperfect Prose.