Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Pillow Talk

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I squeeze next to him,
into his bright red firetruck bed.
My knees scrunch up to fit
his toddler mattress,
we lie with our faces
nose to nose.

Brand new, dark lashes
frame his beautiful blues
and I stare into them.

His cheeks are pink and healthy
and I can almost convince myself
that it was just a dream.

Just a bad dream.

But the surrounding hats,
and blankets,
and paper "get-well-soons"
tell a different story.

Pointing above his eyes, he says,
"I have eyebrows...Like you."
I smile and say,
"Yes, you do."
He peeks at his arm,
"Do I have hair all over my body now?"
I smile again,
"Yes, a little."

and I can tell he is nervous;
his eyes drop downward
and his words are suddenly mumbled,
"Do you have cancer?"
And I can almost see him brace for my reply
and my eyes suddenly swell.
I feel a strange desire to say "yes,"
so that he will not feel alone.

All I can manage is a sad,
"No, baby."
And I pull him to my chest
and hold him close.

After a while,
as he curls back into his own side of the bed,
I ask,
"Do you want me to sing you a song?"


"What should I sing?"

"Amazing Grace."

So I begin to sing
and watch his eyelids
gently droop.
With his thumb and finger,
he pulls at his new lashes,
one by one,
soothing himself to sleep
beside me.

Julie Meyer Taylor resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and three sons, ages 10, 8, and 6. She received her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary and spent many years working with foster children. She is currently working as a stay-at-home mother. ┬áIn April of 2010, when he was two and a half, her youngest son was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. He has been in remission for three years and is currently attending kindergarten. Julie chronicled his eight months of treatment in her blog, Snips and Snails:

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