Monday, July 2, 2012

Story Stew- Monday Morning Warm-up

As a part of Teachers Write!, Jo Knowles provides a weekly Monday morning warm-up.  Today's exercise is called "Story Stew."  Here is the assignment from her blog:

This is what I cooked up:

"Nana, what's taking so long?"
"Hush little one, we've only been waiting for an hour."
"But I'm being very patient.  Daddy said to be patient."
"Yes, you are being very patient, lovey, but babies are unpredictable.  Sometimes they come fast, sometimes it takes a while."
"It is taking a long, long, while, Nana.  I'm tired of being patient."
"Let's take a look at your Fun Bag, sweetheart."

Nana picks up my bag from the shiny white tiled floor, almost too bright to look at under the flourescent glow of the waiting room.  Mom and I had packed my Fun Bag after I discovered her Baby Bag by the front door.  Hers had tiny socks and an outfit for my new brother, a one-piece minty green suit with a google-eyed frog jumping off a lily pad after a smiling dragonfly.  It said, "Ribbit!" on the front, and I picked it out as baby William's coming-home outfit.  Mom had also packed other stuff, like slippers and nice lotion and some clothes for herself.  It was her idea to pack a Fun Bag for me, too.  I guess she knows all about waiting for babies to come, because she always tells me the story of her 10 hour labor when she had me.  Even though I always act embarrassed when she tells the story of my birth-day, it makes me glow inside each and every time hear her tell it.  My Fun Bag has all of my favorite things.  Silly Lily, my rag doll, that I should probably be too old to carry around, colored pencils and a sketch pad for drawing, cards so that Nana and I can play "Old Maid," some books to read, my walkman and headphones with a few of my favorite CDs, and my lucky rock, smooth and shiny from all of the wishing that I've done.
I decided to pull out a piece of paper from my sketch pad, each little tug making a pop pop sound as I rip it out, bits of confetti scrap flying as I tear.  My new colored pencils are perfectly pointed and sharp, and I run my fingers across the tips as I decide which color to use.  I pull out the dark green and begin drawing a lily pad like the one on baby William's jumper.  I don't even notice that the doctor, still wearing that funny blue hat-thing, has entered the waiting room until I see Nana stand up suddenly from her seat.

"Beth baby, stay here a minute while Nana talks to the doctor, ok?"
"Did the baby come?"
"I don't know, love, just keep drawing here and I'll be back."

My heart hops like a frog, and I can't keep my feet from swinging back and forth in my chair.  He's here!  He's here!  I put my drawing aside, unable to concentrate on anything else, straining to hear what Nana and the doctor are saying.  Nana's shoulders slump, and I see her sway back and forth.  The doctor puts his hand on her shoulder and nods, his face flat, and I can just read the words, "baby" and "problem" as he mouths them.  After he walks away, it takes Nana a few minutes before she turns around and comes back to where I am sitting frozen in my chair.  Her eyes are rimmed red, and tiny tears collect at the corner of her eyes as she breathes in a long, heavy breath.

"Beth baby-love, it's going to be a while before you can see your baby brother."
"He's here?" I ask, wanting to be happy, but instead feeling like I've just fallen off the monkey bars, the air sucked out of me as I crash to the ground.
"He's here.  The doctors just want to take him to a special room for a little while.  He's going to have to stay there for a few days or so."
"Where's Mom?  Can I see Mom?  I want to see Mom," my heart starts racing, like I've ridden my bike up a big hill at top speed.
"Mom's just fine, lovey, but no, you can't see her.  She needs to rest right now."

I can't stop the rush of tears that bursts into my eyes that washes my face like a sudden thunderstorm.  My brother.  My baby brother.  What is wrong with baby Will?

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