Tuesday, December 27, 2011


My hands smell like clementines right now, and it's strange because I would hope the scent would send me to some beach somewhere--all blue sky and warm water--where, some day not so long ago between sunrise and sunset, I ate citrus by the bucketful. Instead, I think about the sticky Bath & Body lotions of seventh grade, of strolling the mall, of the perpetual longing to know who might be smoking a cigarette at the food court, of dousing my hands in peachy lotion, chewing another stick of gum.

I've been trying to remember how I felt last Christmas. I must have been sad, at least a little. I mean, after all, in ways my body was still "expecting" a baby in January, a baby that had miscarried so late just a few months before, and yet, when I look at last year's pictures, they're not so different from this year's. Cody and I sit in the same seats at my mother's house for Christmas Eve dinner, our plates are piled high: ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, asparagus for good measure. We are smiling.

Eva is next to the tree. Santa has been there--of course, Santa has been there, with his pink piano or his dress-up box. He has eaten the cookies we left out for him and drunk the milk, and, in Eva's stocking, are wind-up toys and bubbles, and in mine are the panties and the Starbucks card I've come to expect after creeping down my mother's stairs to see, as I say over and over to Eva, if "Santa came."

There are other pictures too. From childhood. Joe with a robot, me and my ballerina doll, Dave, fat-cheeked, Kenny and a reindeer. They all seem so incomplete. And even though I know that, in ways, they're all I have, that without them, I might not even remember I had ever owned a ballerina doll, might not even be able to recall how when I pressed down on her crown she'd spin and spin until I was dizzy with laughter, sometimes it still feels so partial.

Maybe that's why I bother with this blog at all: to try to remember in a richer, fuller way than the Facebook world allows. To say: Today, two days after Christmas, in a house where everyone but me is still sleeping, I am nostalgic for what has passed and what has not passed; I am grateful and anxious; my heart is spinning and spinning, and the air is thick with the scent of clementines. That's all. Not much more than this: Tuesday. December 27, 2011. I am ready for coffee (my in-law's sugar shaker forever charming) and hoping that, before I make it to the bottom of the cup, the people I love will wake and join me in the bright gray light of the breakfast nook.

1 comment:

Zoe Ryder White said...

Christmas Bee! Missing you girls. Thanks for the beautiful post. Here's to more dressin' up and some karoake in the New Year! xo