Sweeping the pebbles from the patio,

I feel the threadbare knees of my first jeans,

I grow small in perspective and large in wonder,

Fill with a sense of play in the clean efficiency of my imagined homestead duties,

Playing House.

But with an above-the-crowd howl of the wind,

The sleeping baby inside will truly wake and shatter the make-believe,

And the 4-year will lift his head from the frothy edges of his dinosaur scape,

As his belly rumbles for a snack, and his eyes and ears, always,

Track back to mom.

And my quiet, methodical sweeps,

Like long overdue breaths.

Will shorten back to the task-hood of motherhood.

And I will grow too tall in perspective,

And the broom will become too heavy in obligation.

And instead of the space swept clean,

I’ll feel the weight of the looming hours before-bedtime around corners.

Expanding and contracting in this way.

Playing house. And just House.

The shapeshifting between inner and real child.

The true breath of parenting.



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