Basement Writing

I think great writing is written in basements
while drinking beer alone
Or while rocking a baby and using your one thumb available
I think great writing does last the test of time
And to find what’s not been found
Is fear

-M. Taggart

Sent from my iPhone

A Mother Endures

Hadly was an enduring mother. Her twins, Peter and Elizabeth, were taking a nap. Her youngest, Jenny, was on her lap. She was rocking the baby to sleep. Her brow was set. Once all three were asleep she’d have an opportunity.

What was left of the day’s sunshine spilled through the half open window shade which shown a path of light to the opening of the closet where soiled children’s clothes lay. She would do a load of laundry as soon as Jenny was asleep, she thought.

Hadly watched Jenny’s heavy eyes. The baby was blinking and with each blink her tiny eyelids were staying closed longer. Within minutes Jenny’s eyes would shut and not open again for at least a half hour. Hadly smelled the top of Jenny’s head and nuzzled her. She told her she loved her in a soothing tone.

Hadly took notice of the changing table’s mess. She needed to remember to clean the linen and wash the wood where the soiled diaper had slipped from her hands. The baby had kicked and gotten her heal into the diaper unexpectedly. Normally she would have placed the diaper in a position where even if Jenny had kicked, it wouldn’t have mattered.

The baby took one last blink and was asleep. Hadly kissed Jenny’s head and slowly rose from the rocking chair and walked to the crib. She cradled Jenny’s head and lowered her body, gently, and smoothed Jenny’s hair as always. She again told Jenny she loved her, turned to the closet, gathered the dirty clothes, and walked out of the nursery.

While walking down the hallway, with the clothes in her arms, she quietly peered into the bedroom to view the twins. Peter was sleeping face down in an awkward position, but she could see his body rise with each breath; there was no worry. Elizabeth slept on her side, facing her. Elizabeth was small for a three year old. Her cheeks were rosy and always flushed to a degree even when inside and asleep.

Every afternoon was a variation of this. One way or another she’d entice the twins into a nap and then she’d rock Jenny to sleep. Finally she’d have a small amount of time to handle items around the house before learning if her husband would come home on time, or not at all.

Hadly stood in front of the bathroom mirror. She had started the laundry and now had to decide if she wanted to shower, or wash bottles. Her face looked stern and caring. Her eyes looked vibrant and knowing, but if you knew when to look, you’d see they were tired. She didn’t allow herself to view her tired eyes, only the vibrant because there wasn’t time to be tired. And now she needed to quickly decide, shower, or bottles.

Her husbands hands-off approach was something she took as a personal challenge. It was not a punishment. She had wanted and gotten the children she’d dreamed of having. Last night he had come home late. This didn’t surprise, nor anger her. Last week he hadn’t come home at all on Tuesday night. This was happening so regularly now that the children had stopped asking questions.

She softened her brow to view the creases ease. She let the memory of having moved away from her family and friends steal a few precious seconds. She thought of how difficult it had been to give her career away, but she had done it. Then, they had lost the first one. She endured and now they have three. She smiled at herself in the mirror and a small tear formed. She let it drop freely down her cheek and onto her chin. She had time for one tear and a shower if she hurried.

I’ve endured my entire life. Maybe enduring isn’t enough, she thought.

*

Copyright 2016 -M. Taggart

Note: I wrote this with limited time Sunday morning with my wife, Megan, and eight month old, Gavin, in back of me. They are in bed watching cartoons. Gavin is babbling at his toys and Megan is drinking coffee I had brought to her a few moments ago. I’ve never written in the same room as my family. I like this story and may develop it further. Thanks for reading, Matt.

If you enjoyed this short story you might also like my self published short story found on amazon via the link below:

 

Creator of Smiles

We’ve just moved north. We’re in a town-house until our new home is built. Your grandmother Kathy and grandfather George visited while the builder sat at the kitchen table with your mother and I discussing building plans. You were comfortably sitting with your grandmother chewing your plastic flexible frog. You put the frog’s head in your mouth and chew the head as though it were a binky.

Smile. RI, roughly one month before moving.
Smile. RI, roughly one month before moving.

A great thing has happened. -We’ll be building our house on land that’s surrounded by Maine Forrest. Your back yard is an extension of hundreds of miles of trails. This is important. I have many great memories as a child while playing in a ravine tucked away in farmland. Now, you’ll have you’re own ravine on a much larger scale. As it should be. Parents should strive to give their children a better life than their own. All while remembering what humbled them, what developed them and what lead them to the moment of the birth of their children. I’ll not forget. We, your mother and I, along with your entire family, have many plans for you and we’ve much to show and teach you. It’ll all begin in your back yard.

Your back yard. Maine.
Your back yard. Maine.

You’ll be coming with us as we clear the land this spring. You’ll see the pouring of the foundation, the raising of the walls and you’ll be there as we all celebrate our first time opening the front door.

I’ve noticed an ability you’ve been given. Everyone who meets you wants to hold you. They hold you and smell the top of your head and nuzzle you with their noses. They smile. They all smile. Sometimes you wiggle and bend your way into gazing up at whomever holds you and you smile back. Your family is spread all through out New England. They travel to be with you.

You’ve just turned 7 months old. We consider you to be very sturdy. You roll over constantly. You sit up very well. You have large hands. You stand with help. You’re trying to crawl and I believe you’ll achieve this in two to three weeks. You come to attention when you hear classical music such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bach.

You vocalize when you see your two Maine Coon cats. And when in your jumper chair you hold your arms up when you wish to be held. This works well for you. Your first real food was avocado. You ate the entire portion.

Maine. Your first week in the town-house.
Maine. Your first week in the town-house.

When I raise my eyebrows, while wearing a grin, you smile. So, I walk around wearing a smile nearly all day. Thank you. I’m fortunate that my career is in technology. I’m able to not only work from our home office, but I’m also able to be with you every day. I no longer eat lunch alone. I brew my morning coffee knowing I’ll soon hear you waking. Which means I’ll soon be opening your bedroom door. Which means I’ll soon be hovering over your crib with my eyebrows raised.

I’m often told that we should put you in day care. Your mother and I think not. We think I’ll have you as long as I can. I view my time with you as a gift. The first piece of literature I read to you was Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and The Sea. I love to read and I had you to read it to. If I can better learn to balance my work, with life, than I believe I’ll be learning to become a better father. Putting you in day care has nothing to do with difficulty raising you, but rather with my own limitations as a parent and how I can further develop them. I write this so openly because I worry that our society too quickly passes on the opportunity to be with their children. That’ll not be me. You are my handsome companion whom helps me cherish moments. My little man. Just now you’re rolling around in the center of our king size bed with two pillows on either side of you. You roll to one and than the other. You have found the opening in the pillow case where the zipper connects the fabric. You’re talking to the zipper.

Moments after chewing on said zipper.
Moments after chewing on said zipper. (I flipped the pillow to hide the zipper.)

That’s it for now, Gavin. I see that you’ve decided the zipper ought to be chewed on and it’s clearly time to pick you up.

Cheers,

And remember- It is a gift to love. Your mother and I love you which clearly means you are the gift.

Me.

Just before moving, RI.
Just before moving, RI.

I read our infant Ernest Hemingway books

I’m reading The Old Man and the Sea to Gavin. Generally I read to him when we put him down to sleep. Gavin enjoys talking at us with a few words only he truly understands. Megan and I feel we have learned five of them to the best of our ability. Either way, we talk back, and he makes funny faces and smiles often.

I’ve chosen an Ernest Hemingway book to be the first full book I read to him because I believe infants need to hear words. Many of them. Not just, cat, dog, and hi baby. I think they are able to stuff these brilliant sounds into their growing brains far better than we know. We humans, especially adults, love to think we know everything. Then, we look at blooming teenagers and remind them they don’t know everything. Scratch that, I will never tell a teenager they don’t know everything because it’s possible they do and it’s possible I know so little that maybe I ought not be like all the adults I believed I truly knew more than.

Anyway, we read to Gavin. The first time I opened the book I told him who Ernest Hemingway was and when he was born. I then told him he wrote many books, one of which is the book I was now going to read to him. Gavin feel asleep after the first paragraph. He’s rebounded nicely and seems to listen for much longer stretches of time before nodding off into his dream land.

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Gavin- p.s. Three nurses came to visit you yesterday. Megan wanted to learn how to stretch your little body so you could grow perfectly well. We learned a few interesting things about you. The nurses did a number of tests. It turns out all of the fun facial expressions you’ve been making, and the number of words you’ve created and use are what’s considered to be advanced. I don’t care what tests say about a person. But, I thought you might like to know.  One of the categories you were tested on was called expressive communication. Normal values were from 40-60. You scored a 73. They also said you’re very handsome and that we should send your picture to Gerber. So, now your mother is sending your picture to Gerber.

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Isn’t it odd that our society is attaching test scores to you? You aren’t yet two months old. We’ll talk about test scores and society much more. Just remember, it’s important to be happy and to truly know yourself. Society hasn’t gotten there yet…so be careful when talking heads lean in closely to speak in your direction.

I’m rambling. I’m going to post this now and then go kiss your forehead. You’ll most likely grunt.

 

 

My Six Word Story

Two babies cry, one is fed.   -M. Taggart

 

It’s no secret that Ernest Hemingway is my favorite author.  This is my first six word story.  When I feed Gavin I find myself thinking of little ones going without. Their cries shredding the night, falling on ears without care.

My grandfather was orphaned as an infant. I’m proud to say I see a bit of him in Gavin.