The Slow-Cooked Sentence


Rachael Conlin Levy


I hauled myself out of bed, pulled on my purple bathrobe and walked right into one of my sons.

“Mom, what’s for brefkist?” he asked.

“God, I don’t know. Give me a few minutes to wake up.”

In the bathroom, I pried the retainer from my teeth, brushed them and popped a thyroid pill. My kids’ belly thoughts dominate their mornings — and their evenings, for that matter. It’s the first question asked as they shuffle into the kitchen, rubbing eyes and squinting in the light. It’s the last question posed as I tuck them in at night.

“What’s for brefkist?”

“God, I don’t know. We just ate dinner.”

Then from each bed come three different belly prayers:

“Can we have Dutch baby? We haven’t had that in a loooong time.”

“Please, don’t make oatmeal again.”

I toss kisses on their foreheads and head for the door, eager to close it, to put to sleep the mama part of me, even for just a few hours.

“Can we have pancakes with chocolate chips?”

“We’ll see.”

But this morning’s request that I serve as short-order cook was unraveling the young day. My mutterings turned to lecturing as I made my coffee. The lectures rose in pitch as I banged a pot onto the stove and measured out the oatmeal. And before I could catch myself, I was yelling at everyone and threatening to go on strike over packing lunches.

In desperation, I grabbed my knitting bag and headed for the couch with a warning that people needed to leave me alone. After five minutes of purling and knitting my husband ventured into the room.

“I’m trying to find my good mood,” I said.

And after five rows, I did.

One response to “Unraveled”

  1. snef says:

    Thanks for the god honest truth. It is refreshing.

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