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My fingernails have paint wedged deep down into the gaps. White and congealed and impossible to remove. Cobwebs form along the open windows, white and whimsical and easily broken. My son brings his girlfriend to the house and her skin is white and translucent like icicles that I once  saw hanging from a porch in Flagstaff. I put white butter into a pan and melt it. I add white garlic to it and the pungency overwhelms. It clings to the white walls of the kitchen and to my fingertips already claimed by paint. I toss Crab Claws into the melting mass and the sweet smell of the sea fills my nostrils.  The dogs sniff the air beyond the window and appear restless. The whole day amounts to this moment. All the activity settles once dinner is called. Son comes to table after bidding farewell to girlfriend. He sits on one of the newly painted white chairs. I put white bread into a basket and place the Crab Claws on a white plate with yellow lemons. We dip our bread into the golden melted butter and suck the meat from the cavities of the claws. Nothing is wasted. Son tells me his girlfriend is expecting an exchange student to visit from France. The student thinks she is three months pregnant. She is only seventeen. I wonder what world this is. If I am creating a fantasyof whites and lemons and dogs and chairs. Nothing makes much sense to me. I eat and wonder quietly to myself. I wonder how complicated everything is. How all the whiteness seems to have turned into greys and browns.  How once I sat the young man on the white chair onto my lap and sang silly songs into his ear. Why, I remember  being in a bed in this house with my three sons. We were wrapped in white sheets and it was six am and I, I, I, imagine this, I was singing to them. We were all cuddled together, like we were living in a nest. I have a photograph to prove it. I was so happy then. One mother in a white bed with three of her nestlings all snuggled up at six am and I singing to them like a blackbird on a tree unaware of what was to come. Why, not even contemplating it.

17 Comment count
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Mary, what were you singing

Mary, what were you singing to them? Do you remember?

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You know Luciana, that's

You know Luciana, that's difficult to answer. I am sure I sang them all the usual lullabies and quite often I made them up as I went along!

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Luciana, I was in the bath

Luciana, I was in the bath tub when I recalled the following. I am sure it is one of a kind, a Mary Wilkinson special. I sang it without fail to the boys just as they nodded off!

Nighty nighty sleepy tighty

Don't you let the beddy buggies bite

Mommy and Daddy love you very much

Youré their shiny little star

Everybody loves you

Goddy goddy bless you

See you in the morn orning

Everybody loves you

Goddy goddy bless you.......

See you in the morning!

Thank you Luciana. I would not have even thought about it at all unless you had so kindly asked. Mary

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Isn´t it amazing how our

Isn´t it amazing how our parents´voices and words stay with us forever? I still remember my mother´s chanting and singing. Many times they come as a sweet memory. I´m sure your boys will always have your voice in their hearts, singing to them.

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It's so good to give the

It's so good to give the children affirming messages early on. . .saves so much trouble later.

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little ones, lovely times

Ah, Mary, I only have two sons, but they are quite grown. I miss those days, too. Do you know what I miss the most? I miss when we all gathered around to read books aloud. Laughing through "Danny, the Champion of the World" and crying at the end of "Where the Red Fern Grows." I miss the sweet smell of them climbing over me in the wee hours of the morning to find their spot between my husband and me. I miss watching and listening to them play in the sandbox - building their world.
Now my oldest is nearly graduated with his master's degree and the youngest is newly engaged. Yikes! (He knows I'll kill him if he marries before he graduates college. LOL)

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Lovely Jodi. Thank you. You

Lovely Jodi. Thank you. You must be so proud of your boys. Mp

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Layers of life...

It is good that we did not fret about the future when we enjoyed their early lives of our children. As we mature, perhaps more than others, we mothers always think of a past layer and a future layer when we contemplate our children. You will do the same when you have grandchildren.

It would be challenging to have a pregnant 17-year-old in your home as an exchange student. I hope she is able to enjoy some singing and happy time with her little one when it arrives. In pioneer days, 17 was old enough to have and rear a child. I hope this young woman can also measure up. One friend of mine inspired me years ago by telling me she enjoyed being so young yet when her child became an adult. She had all this time left over in life to accomplish all her other ambitions.

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Sue, you are so sweet as

Sue, you are so sweet as always. Actually the 17 year old is staying at my son's girlfriends house, thank god! I don't want to sound old fashioned but having kids at that age seems a little unreal to me.............my god, they are only kids themselves. Grandchildren! I cannot imagine that. Although they would love the garden, lots of spots to play hide and seek. Mp

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Mom Haiku

"Mommy!" echoes far
Across many distances
She listens for me.

"Son!" she whispers now
Through all of my happy joy
And tears and laughs and...

"I love you!" echoes
Everything she does for me
And she is my all.

I say, "I love you,"
"I love you, my son. Always!"
And the world is good.

Mary, thanks for reminding me of my own mom. Mothers and sons. That relationship is so very near and dear and important to me, even though my mom has passed away - she is with me always. I'm smiling from ear to ear...

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Quenntis, you are

Quenntis, you are welcome....Love is all.

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Reading stories


You brought back memories of the girls and I, snuggling in bed, me reading The Little House series to them. Always such soft memories.

It's hard and rewarding both to watch our children grow up and out. The biggest challenge as a parent. Your story, as always, transported me back in time. Quite lovely!

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Thanks Dorraine. Do you mean

Thanks Dorraine. Do you mean The Little House on the Prairie? The attic has a huge box full of childhood books, one day I will go back in and sort them out and list them in order. I think that would be a wonderful task, not a task but a step back into a more magical time. Did you ever read The Little House in the Country? My boys loved it, I read it over and over to them and we always felt the story was somewhat about our house although it has survived the onslaught of man-to date. Mp

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Little House on the Prairie, yes. I grew up just down the road from the Wilder home, in Mansfield, Missouri. Was always mesmerized at how little she and Alfonzo were. Everything in the house is tiny, low ceilings, little rooms, small furniture. What struck me was how wee Laura's writing desk and chair were. People were smaller back in those days!

I've not read The Little House in the Country. It sounds like something my girls would have liked though. Like you, I've got boxes of books in the attic, saved for the..ahem..grandchildren!

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Figure you will have her as a guest...

Yes, I understood it was the girl friend's house that the 17-year-old was to be living in. However, I suspect she may be a guest at your house also when she runs around with her new Irish "sister." I cannot imagine how the girl friend's parents are going to cope with this unexpected development. I would certainly think it was more than they bargained for when they signed up for an exchange student. Nor can I imagine how the 17-year-old will cope either. She will need a lot of help to be ready to parent at that young age. I hope her own parents are ready to give her a great deal of support.

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Love your song...

Wonderful song. Lucky sons to have that to put them to sleep. Must have made them very secure.

I still cannot post. ??? Don't know why the submit button on blog entry page does not work for me. So anyone wanting to read my bloggings will have to check out Woodsong Notes at http://sueglasco.blogspot.com.

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Sue, that's too bad about

Sue, that's too bad about the posting problem. I hope you get it sorted soon. Mp