Sunday, July 23, 2006

On my mind: My nephew, my stretch marks, and Rosemary Triscuits

My nephew reduced a room full of 3-and-4-year-old Episcopalians to tears this morning.

Let me preface this by saying that my nephew, R~, is the youngest of my sister S~'s five children, and has a given and family name so peculiarly and unusually Italian that it is almost a cliche, and is sure to destine the poor guy to years of IRS audits under suspicion of being a mafia enforcer...also, if you ask R~ what he wants to be when he grows up, he will answer, without missing a beat, "a bad guy." He gives my sister no end of worry!

Anyway, recently, R~ asked his mother if she had ever seen Jesus. My sister said "No, you can't see Jesus, we just know he is here."

Evidently, R~ did not care for this response, because this morning he announced to his Sunday school class, "Jesus isn't real. He's not real." The other children objected. R~ vehemently questioned them, "I've NEVER SEEN HIM? Have YOU?" As it dawned on the children that they HAD never seen Jesus, tears ensued. It's my understanding that the teachers sorted things out eventually. I am trying hard not to laugh about this in front of my sister. Evidently, R~'s name should have "Thomas".


Friday night, Gabe and were laying in the guest room bed, and I was reading Fantastic Mr. Fox* to him. I was wearing green pajamas with pink flamingos on them, and the tank top had ridden up so that my belly button area was exposed. (We are not a modest group here at my house, so, it's not like Gabe doesn't see my stomach on occasion. However, this time, it caught his attention.) "Mommy, what are these stingy marks on your tummy?" he asks. "They're stretch marks, " I say. (I have wretched, heinous, awful stretch marks, and I'm not kidding. It looks like someone poured hot boiling oil over the flesh of my stomach. The scars run down my abdomen like angry worms half buried in my flesh. It's NOT pretty. I will never wear a two-piece swimsuit again, even if I do succeed in losing forty pounds.) "What are they from?" Gabe asks. "From the time you spent nine months tap dancing on my bladder." (Um, no, that's not really what I said. I THOUGHT it, but, I didn't SAY it.) "From when I was pregnant with you and you were in my tummy. My skin stretched, and it scarred this way." He touches the unscarred skin of rib cage and asks why there are no scars there. I explain that he wasn't in my rib cage, so, that skin didn't get stretched.

I continue to read, and he continues to trace the scars across my stomach with his pointer finger. He seems lost in thought and not listening to the book. Then he asks me if "the lady who had Lana in her tummy has scars like this on her belly." Woah. "I don't know Gabe, probably she does." "But Aunt S~ and Aunt A~ had LOTS of babies, and they don't have scars like this," Gabe says. (These are my sisters. They have seven children between them. And no visible stetch marks. Bitches. I love them, but, HOW IS THAT FAIR??? I only gained 26 pounds with Gabe!!! They both gained more than that EVERY TIME!!! I digress.) (I can call them bitches because they are my sisters and I love them dearly. Even if they are both size 4. SO NOT FAIR!!!) I tell Gabe that A~ and S~ are lucky. (My family swims a lot, which is how Gabe knows they don't have stetch marks. Because they both wear tiny bikinis. I will risk being redundant by saying, again, SO NOT FAIR!!!) Gabe ends this conversation by asking me if the marks on my belly hurt. "No, Gabe, they don't." He seems relieved to hear this.


Rosemary triscuits...I had the opportunity to encounter these yesterday, and, um, can I just say, unless you LOVE rosemary, with a deep and true passion that knows no bounds, there is TOO MUCH ROSEMARY in these crackers. Too much. Way too much. Go with the garlic ones. They are so much better.


*I regularly subject my child to hearing me read aloud books that I loved as a child. So far, he actually likes the Roald Dahl books, and Flat Stanley, and The Great Brain, or he pretends to for my sake. He did not, however, appreciate it when I tried to read him Little Lord Fautneroy, which is not, admittedly, the best book Frances Hodges Burnett ever wrote. (That would, of course, be A Little Princess, my favorite book from all of childhood, and I know I will heartbroken if Lana doesn't let me read this to her someday.)


Blogger Christina said...

I think it's sweet that he worried about your stretch marks and that he thought about Lana's birthmommy.
I also have way too skinny (buff, fit, gorgeous) sisters and I agree, it's NOT FAIR!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006 7:31:00 PM  
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