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Expressions of Motherhood Series



Mommy can you play?

Her eyes are expectant, hopeful.
Dragons, sweaty in her little hands
As she never puts them down.

A unicorn, a lion and a few marbles on the floor.
This week’s favourites.
One is sure to go missing soon, as one always does,
And she will melt down in fear of it never coming back.

But for now, for the hundredth time,
Mommy, can you play?

But the laundry, the dishes and I’ve got dinner to prep,
I have work to do though and there’s so much to do-
Mommy, want to play?

I smile and sigh,
I don’t want to play,
And I’m not very good at it.

My play has been lost over years of to-doing,
my imagination a stranger as I’ve neglected it for years.
Adulthood, the important and doing years.

But I sit on the floor and she hands me my toy,
She’s chosen it carefully,
it’s a special one just for me.

But there’s still so much to do-
It will have to be later, I guess.

I resign to the moment,
Not sure what to say, what happens in the story,
How to be a child again for her, for a moment.

Mommy, want to play?

I play for a minute that seems like a day,
and before long, the never-ending to-dos:
The list for the groceries, the bathrooms, the flo-
Mommy, play.

I’m not doing this right.
Her eyes are insistent, she doesn’t want much,
A moment in time, lost in story and imagination.

Will this be the last time,
That she asks me to play?

I feel so ashamed, this moment won’t last.

Mommy, will you play?

She won’t ask forever.
So this morning, I’ll play.
And this afternoon.
And probably this evening, a few times too.

Because while the list never ends,
And tomorrow I’ll be wishing she would ask me to play.