Light in Motherhood: A Collection of Short Stories
By: Melissa Harper | Date: December 30 2019
By Lorren Lemmons
“Mama…” My four-year-old son’s voice rises up the stairs, thin and whiny.
My hair drips limply on the carpet as I grab my towel. “Just a minute,” I yell, rubbing eye cream in approximately the right location. The baby wails and his brother cries out, “I didn’t bite him, Mama!”
I dash downstairs, towel haphazardly covering my personal areas. I kiss owies and command apologies before escaping to my bedroom. I reach automatically for my phone, and my harried, split-ended, stressed-out self takes refuge in minimalist design schemes, in little hearts popping up in the corner of my screen, in scanning the list of nineteen celebrities you’d never guess had their gallbladders removed. A shot of dopamine sparks my synapses with each click. I meander into the playroom, head down, thumb scrolling, face illuminated by artificial light.
When I look up, the boys are giggling. “Mama!” the baby cries, and I look into his eyes, truly seeing him for the first time that morning. Delight spills from his face. He shows his crooked teeth when he laughs, chubby cheeks dimpling. I wonder how my plastic device manages to distract me from the light shining from his bright eyes.
I’m taken aback by how constantly my mind is in a different sphere than my body. Then my four-year-old will exclaim in wonder because he’s found a beetle, or the baby will say a new word, and I’m caught in the light of their joy and discovery and presence. That light is my call to reality, my homing beacon. It sanctifies the dinginess, the dark circles, the imperfections of my daily life.
I look into my boys’ shining blue eyes, beaming from their upturned faces. I click a button on my phone and the screen fades to black.
Lorren Lemmons is a mama to two blue-eyed boys, a military wife, a nurse, a bibliophile, and a writer. This summer she is moving from Washington state to North Carolina. She blogs about books, motherhood, and her undying love for Trader Joe’s at When Life Gives You Lemmons (http://