Ancient History

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I still live with my parents

Beatrix reads well. She’s wrapping up first grade with several chapter books on her shelves and a natural curiosity about all-things written. This includes clothing. A few days ago, I dressed Ollie in a onesie passed down to me from a friend. It has a cute message.

I Still Live With My Parents

It’s a nod to the reality many kids live with their parents well into adulthood, forced by economics or extreme helicoptering. Beatrix doesn’t get this though. She read the message I Still Live With My Parents and had an entirely different interpretation.

My oldest and youngest permanent tenants, occupiers of my heart...

“I still live with my parents,’ she read. Then, in the high, sing-song voice she reserves for Baby Ollie, she cooed to him, ‘Yes, you do! You didn’t die so now you live with mama and dada! You still live!”

She didn’t seem to think it was an odd sentiment to put on 100% cotton. But it made me catch my breath.

I wonder how much she understands about our family history—those little ones we lost along the way, including two babies before she was born and two after. She’s flanked by four losses, this shining little girl who somehow made it through, surrounded. She still lives with her parents. Us.

Those tiny ones she won’t meet on this slope of heaven still live with their parents, too.

I suspect—and maybe I’m wrong because I’m not there yet—all children live with their parents, forever. Even when launched, even when on the other side of the world, even when buried at the age of 32 or 57, they will always, always abide with us. There’s no sloughing them away no matter the circumstance.

And so I can humbly say it, too: I still live with my parents.

7 comments to I still live with my parents

  • Jo

    Just beautiful. Yes, my kids still live with me, and I still live with my parents too.

  • I haven’t visited your site in way too long and I’m so glad I did today. I needed to hear this. I like to think that all of my kids still live with/within me too.

  • Ellen

    This was a take-my-breath-away post. I’ve been thinking of my long-gone parents for weeks – and, at the same time, cherishing the sweetness of my newest grand child, knowing there will probably be only a few more. The rest are growing up by the minute. I’m grateful you are still writing.

  • I read once that mothers carry, in their bloodstream, the genetic matter of each of their babies. Even the ones that died before the light could touch them.
    When I read that, I thought, Oh wow.
    And then I thought, yes, of course.

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