My womb is a special place. I know that’s true because three of my kids are forever asking if they can go there.
“Mom,” says my 5-year-old, “can I sweep in yo womb?”
“Cael,” I reply, “do you think you can manage to get a broom in my womb? ‘Cause I know I grew twins in there, and it may appear externally that it’s still capacious, but I’m almost positive that I can’t get a whole broom up there. Maybe a hand-broom, but a full-size version is right out.”
Cael sighs. I have offended him. “Mah-ahm! I said sweep, not sweep.”
Oh. My bad. “OK. Sorry about that. So you’re saying you want to sleep in my womb. Right, Cael?”
“Yes!” Cael replies with exasperation. “I want to sweep in yo womb.”
“Sure, Cael. We can have a sweep-over.”
“A sweep-over, Mom!”
“Got it. A sleep-over. In my womb.”
You know, I’m the only person in my house who understands how funny I am. It’s very lonely for me.
“Mom?” says my 11-year-old son.
“Yes, baby?” I reply.
“I watch T.V. in yo womb?”
There are moments when I feel achingly sad that my son is 11 and has such a severe speech delay.
Other times… well,…
“Don’t you think my womb is a little crowded for a T.V., Ian? I mean, you know, what with all the cleaning supplies I have to keep in there for sweeping and stuff?”
…I can barely keep my giggles to myself.
“Why you wah-ffing, Mom? Yo womb just white foe watching T.V.”
“Sorry, Ian,” I apologize, wiping the giggle tears from my eyes. “You can watch T.V. in my womb. But no popcorn. If I find any more pieces of popcorn in my womb, I might lose it. And no one wants to see mama lose it over popcorn in her womb. Am I white? Or am I white?”
“Yo white, Mom. OK. Yo white.”
Sometimes I’m critical of my womb. I think my womb is too messy. It’s alternately too large or too small. It’s too full of debris from this crazy child-rearing business. There are too many toast crumbs, and too many doggy paw prints on my pillows.
But I’m working on the Idea of Enough. That I have enough. That I am enough. And when I’m there – in the Enough heart-space – I wee-mem-bow that my womb is just white for this time in my life. It’s perfect for what I need it to do. To comfort my children. To give them access to a busy mama. To provide respite.
“Mom?” says my 9-year-old daughter. “Can I take a bath in yo-ah womb?”
To bring me back to joy.
“Of course you can take a bath in my womb, baby girl. Just step around the T.V. and over the broom. And no splashing, please. My womb gets enough of that as it is.”