I scoop Ben up and bring him, all limp and doll-like, into my bed, and we wrap around each other under heavy flannel and quilts. I love you mama all slurry in half-sleep. I love you too baby. By the morning, Evan has climbed in too and we triple-spoon and talk about girls, brussels sprouts, and when Evan's comic book, one of dozens, will be published. GOD, he says, sighing. Publishers.

He is eight years old tomorrow.


Bumping up against ghosts of previous selves in the village, and the grappling. Skeptical that a few moments of quiet can make a dent. All that can't be said. So I keep bumping, and waiting, and trying harder to know less. And whenever I can, I scoop.