Mama removes the stuffed blue elephant and places it on the small child-size chair, then she sits on the side of Nalo’s bed.
“Move over, darling, I need space too, you know.”
Nalo reluctantly wiggles to one side, giving up about five centimeters of bed width. Mama looks around. The room is small, but cozy and clean. The toys are neatly placed on shelves.
“Thank you, this is very kind of you,” says Mama, raising one eyebrow. “You did a nice job tidying up your bedroom. Now, would you like me to read a story?”
“No, Mama, please, I want you to tell a story with your mouth.”
She dims the light and settles beside him. Both their heads rest on the puffy pillow. She starts the story. “Once upon a time, there was…”
“Please, I want one with a horsie! A black horsie, please!” Nalo glances at her and smiles sweetly.
“Ok! Shush, now, close your eyes… Once upon a time…”
“I want one with a horsie who did not have a mummy.”
He wiggles excitedly in the blanket and Mama has to readjust the covers before answering.
“Ok! Ok! Quiet now. Who’s telling the story?”
She waits until he cuddles back under the blanket; eyes shut and hand in her palm. She looks down at the hand. “He is so small,” she thinks “so small and already so life-wise with his “I want… I want.”
She rubs the little fingers, so soft, so gentle. “He is so small” she thinks “so small and yet so strong. Those sweet little fingers know how to split her hair, and tear her heart at times.”
She gazes at his face. He looks up, certainly wondering what happened to the story. Mama is smiling sadly, so he gives her his puppy look. “He is so small” she thinks “so small, and already so clever.” The crinkle on his forehead and the serious glint in his dark eyes… the adult-like attitudes on his baby face melt my heart.
“What was it like three years ago? She was the same as she is now, looks nearly the same, except for the few extra pounds around the waist. She even feels the same, except for that twitch in her stomach when he cries. No real changes for her in those three years.
But for him, a whole life! Three years ago, he was an embryo, the size of a nail, and today… Look at him today! One hundred centimeters, full of muscles and brain, able to talk, jump, run fast and think even faster.
Mama is pulled out of her reverie. He removes his hand from inside her palm and his little body stiffens as he complains:
“And my story? I’m not happy with you!”
She smiles and caresses his cheek as he crosses his arms over his chest and turns away.
“All right! All right!… Once upon a time, there was…”
“Is it the one with the horsie?” He asks in a soft voice.
“Shush! Close your eyes… Once upon a time, there was a little black horse…”
© Copyright 2005 Isa Danton (UN: isa-danton at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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