I once read an older woman refer to her childbearing years as the lost decade. She had little memory of that time, when the babies were there and the children were small. She spoke not with a resentment, nor a longing to go back to the days. It was simply a mysterious period in her life when she had all but vanished.
The youngest one will turn four in a few weeks. He’s still nursing, but there’s hardly any milk anymore. There hasn’t been for months. I said I was hoping to go until he turned three, and here we still are. Now he’s the one telling me he’ll be all done with beebee milt (baby milk) when he’s this much (holds up four fingers).
And here we are now, and every day, I still can’t believe it. We live here now. We lived here once before. It wasn’t that long ago, when one week out of those summers was spent living at camp, all together in a cabin. Every day I find myself, in the kitchen, in the school room, in the bathroom when I’m cleaning.
I find myself in a moment of silence, remembering.