BEWARE THE "I'DS" OF MARCH

BEWARE THE "I'DS" OF MARCH

From Chicken Soup for the Working Mom's Soul

Beware the “I’ds” of March

“Stop it!” The words were said without a sideways glance, but with eyebrows raised in warning at the small hand that reached over to my laptop. “Mommy needs to finish this, honey.”

The little hand withdrew, picked up the crayon, and continued to draw. “We gonna build a snowman today, Mommy?” Unable to keep the hope from bubbling up in his little-boy heart, he glanced to the window; the snowflakes had been falling, thick as fog since morning.

“Yeah, draw me a snowman, baby,” I said, and squinted at the screen in front of me. “I’d better finish this before supper.”

“But I’d rather make one with you, Mommy.” He laid his little towhead onto his arm with resignation and began to color the carrot nose on his most perfect snowman.

My hands hovered over the keyboard. I no longer saw the spreadsheet on the computer screen. “I’d rather.” Those words. “I’d rather.” What was it about those words?

The first day I held the sweetness of my newborn child, cradled him, I felt at once the mixture of utter surrender and the fierce mother bear rise up in my heart. I spent days just smelling behind his ears, watching the soft brush of his eyelashes as they lay splayed upon his cheek, watching his fingers wrap around mine. What had I gotten myself into? How could I keep this perfect sweetness? How could I feel so in love and so fierce at the same time?

I asked these questions in a rhetorical, breathy way, not expecting Nana to really have the answers.

“Beware of the I’ds,” she said so simply, winking slightly and smiling.

“The Ides? Like, of March?” I said, laughing, wondering just what new medication Nana was on, and how it was obviously affecting her brain.

She shook her head and brushed her hand across the soft forehead of the sleeping baby. “The I’ds.”

“Not now, honey, I’d better finish the laundry.”

“In a minute, baby, I’d better check on the roast.”

“As soon as I’m done, I’d better finish this before dinner.”

“The I’ds will rob you, sneak in and steal you minute by minute from the sticky fingers of love. They will distract you from the peanut butter kisses and ketchup hugs. The I’ds will tell you that the important things are the duties that must be done this minute, tasks that can’t be put off. And suddenly you won’t have their laundry to do; the roast dinner will be just for two—no longer accompanied by spilled milk and second helpings. The I’ds will make you forget that summer days do end, and that unmade snowmen melt away. So just beware of the I’ds, my child.”

The little towhead boy did not look up as I softly closed the laptop. He giggled slightly as I smelled behind his little-boy ears. And he leapt up from the table when I said, “Let’s go build a snowman, sweetie.”

Heather Cook

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