education

Mommy, how does the baby get into the mommy's belly?

You know how you plant a seed and then you put fertilizer onto it to make the soil nice and happy so the seed will grow?

No.

Well that's what you do.

...

...

But how does a baby get into the mommy's belly?

The mommy has the seed and the daddy has the fertilizer.

...

...

...and the daddy puts fertilizer...

...into the mommy's dirt?

Yes! And then—who makes magic?

MOTHER NATURE!

Yes! Mother Nature does her little zippity zap—the seed only grows sometimes—only if she does her magic—and if she does, then a baby grows in the mommy's dirt! And then the mommy gets big—(I mime)—and BIGGER—(arms outstretched)—and BIGGER!—and then she goes UUUUNNGH!—(I squat)—and UUUURRRRGGGH!—(he giggles)—and OOOWWWWW—(he giggles again)—and the baby goes POP! and squiggles out of the mommy's yoni!—(he claps)—and then the baby says WAAAAAAGGGGH! and he drinks the mommy's boobie milk!—(he claps again)—and then he DRIVES HER CRAZY WHEN HE LEAVES A TOASTED MARSHMALLOW ON THE COUCH AND HIS MOMMY SITS ON IT AND GETS A STICKY BUTT!—(he giggles)

I was in a incu-beeter.

That's right. Sometimes mommies and babies need help. The doctors put me to sleep and they cut right into my belly quick-quick and I didn't feel a thing! And they lifted you out! And you were so little! You were the littlest! So they put you in the incubator and they baked you like a cookie until you were big enough to come home and eat toasted marshmallows.

I was in your belly with Liam.

Yes sweetness, you were. You told him all your secrets and he told you all his secrets.

Did we hold hands?

You did. You used to suck on each others' fingers! Mmmm mmm. Fingers!

(he giggles) He sucked on my fingers! Silly Lee-am! (he giggles again)

He did! And you squished your hands all over his face and put your nose right up to his nose and you were all whispery and sleepy together like mother nature's magic.

I am a big boy now.

Yes, baby, you are.

Lee-am isn't a big boy.

No, love, he's not.

What is Lee-am?

He is magic. And so are you.

(he smiles)

+++

It's almost May, that's all. Thoughtful, grateful, scars that don't vanish. Scars I wouldn't want to vanish. Taxes and debt and building and austerity measures. Less wine. More frozen peas. My father, helping. My mother dropping off yet another load of preemie quilts to the NICU for the baking, rising, sweetening babies. My family taking shape, overlapping circles, and the boys, always the boys. We lie around after the alarm, one on either side because mommy's bed is the fleshiest when feet are cold, and we make jokes about how they have to go to school so they can make a million trillion dollars and then give me all their money when I'm an old lady, and they howl, and I squeeze their butts, and they laugh and call me THE WORST MOMMY EVER and Evan's learned how to give hickeys on cheeks and I love them so much.