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A Mother's Wishes
by Gail Berke

I wish I had a sewing room with shelves and drawers for fabrics and notions… a small room where I could stop—midstich—lock the door and no one would touch my work. But, I have my sewing piled high in the corner of my bedroom where my pin-cushion is a discarded Winnie the Pooh, and thread regularly disappears to become Spiderman webs or parachute cable for miniature toys. Bits of thread and snips of fabric litter the floor, and I'm never alone for a minute.

I wish I had an office with desk and files and my own phone within reach where I could work undisturbed and ponder and write and stay on top of my LLL work. But, I have my kitchen table that has to be cleared three times a day, where letters stick together with peanut butter and typing paper gets crayoned and becomes paper airplanes. The phone is always kept busy, usually by a teenager. I'm never alone for a minute.

My filing cabinet is in the basement, sandwiched between the furnace and the ping pong table and under the boys' dart board. I share it with Carl's household accounts, and it groans under dirty tube socks. I file and sort laundry simultaneously, and I'm never alone for a minute.

I wish I had a room, uncluttered, neat, with space, flowers in a vase, polished tables. But I have toys and sneakers and fingerprints and lots of kids, mine and others, always around. I'm never alone for a minute.

I wish I had some time all for me…to read a book, paint my nails, think an undisturbed thought, write a letter to my mother all at one time. Instead, I'm up and down, sharing books with a five-year old, kissing bumps, coaching a pitch, solving a ninth grade equation, mending a doll's dress. I'm in the car, on the phone, cooking, mopping, listening, talking, busy, and never alone for a minute.

I called my mom in Florida the other night. She has a sewing room that's every seamstress' dream. She has a sunny little corner with a desk, violet scented writing paper, and pens that stay right there. She has a tidy apartment with flowers in a vase and polished tables, like a page of a home magazine.

She asks me, "Would it be convenient to come and visit next month? I was remembering when Dad was still alive and well, and you and John and Robby were all home—how much fun we had together. I miss that crazy chaos that is a family.

"I know I just visited your brother and Veronica. The three boys were wild and wooly all the time, and the new baby was so dear, nursing and keeping us up every night. But I miss you and your kids, too. This place is too quiet. I'm alone every minute."

I wish I were twenty-two again and just starting to have my babies. I was running day and night with never enough sleep…endless days of diapers and teething and little nursers in our bed. Slow down time. I am never alone for a minute, and boy am I glad!

Reprinted from La Leche League News, Volume 23, No. 2 with permission from La Leche League International