Telling: Altars & Artifacts



I've been trying to figure how to label the boys clothes so that I could remember whose was whose. As things pass from one boy to the next, it grows confusing, somethings remain identified with one boy, even long after they're outgrown. And size isn't always reliable as some of their clothes are "one-size-fits-all". I've seen Jacob claim things I'd thought too small for Tucker. And some of the shirts they wear hang down to their knees. I get confused. No one coming in to help with laundry has ever been able to get it right. So I finally devised the scheme of marking Gus's clothes with an X, Jake's with 2 and Tucker's with 3: XXX. This weekend, as I folded, I scrawled X's in lables, feeling very pleased with myself. Watt asked me what I was doing. I showed him. "Don't they deserve to have their own name's in their clothes?" he teased. "Reduced to X's by their own mother."

"But," I countered, "What happens when Gus' shirt gets passed down to Jake, and eventually to Tucker? This way, one x becomes two and finally three."

A look crossed his face, as if he suddenly realized he had married himself a genius.

I have been happy ever since.

A Mother's Journal

field notes from
1997 - 1999