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What Was Broken Is Now Healed


“What’s wrong, Mama?” he asks as he climbs onto my lap, a spindly bundle of arms and legs that always manage to sucker-punch an internal organ.

“Oh, I’m just sad,” I tell him, running my fingers through his long dark hair, knowing there are some things that cannot be explained to a five-year-old.

“Did someone hurt your feelings?” he asks, as he stares intently at my face, his wide brown eyes boring holes into the back of my skull.

“No, baby, no one hurt my feelings,” I reply, the truth.

“Did a bad guy come?” he asks, quite seriously as his eyes attempt to puzzle out my expressions.

“No, baby, there are no bad guys here,” I laugh a bit, the tears still pooling in my eyes.

His sister wanders in to notice us on the couch together, and, seeing an opportunity in which she should be occupying the space on my lap, climbs up with a grace I didn’t know could come from my genetics.

“You have a boo-boo, Mama?” she asks, her long lashes open and shut as she, too, studies my face with a stunning intensity.

“Sort of,” I tell her as I kiss her, then her brother, on the forehead. “Sort of.”

“Can I kiss it and make it better?” he asks, looking for any open wounds to put his mouth on.

Before I can respond, she climbs down and runs off. She returns holding a box of Hello Kitty Bandaids.

“Here, Mama,” she says, “I got you a Bandaid – a HELLO KITTY Bandaid – for your boo-boo,” proudly she hands me a single bandaid from her precious collection.

“Thanks, Mimi-Girl,” I say, the tears, once again, falling from my eyes, this time, however, from the incredible sweetness of my children. “A Hello Kitty Bandaid will fix it.”

I allow them both to cover me with Bandaids – every mole, every bump, every scrape now carefully protected from the outside world.

“‘Dere, Mama,” she says proudly. “You’re all better.” She scampers off to find her Lego guys to play with.

My son, however, stays sitting upon my lap, twirling a piece of my hair absentmindedly as he thinks.

“Some boo-boos,” he finally says, “they can’t be fixed with a Bandaid.” He speaks with a wisdom far beyond his years.

“You’re right, my boy,” I say, the tears dotting his hair. “Some boo-boos are in secret spots. Hidden spots.”

“Where you can’t see them, right, Mama?” he asks, without really expecting an answer.

“Yep,” I say. “Some boo-boos are on the heart.”

He looks at me thoughtfully before scampering off to a drawer, where I can hear him rummaging around, looking for something. I turn back to my game of Tiny Tower in the vain hope that my broken heart will soon feel whole again.

He whirls back into the room, a mess of elbows and knees, and clamors back onto my lap, where he elbows me in the sternum, leaving me momentarily breathless.

“Here,” he thrusts a piece of paper into my hands happily. “It’s for you.” He then hugs me so tightly I feel like I might burst and watch as he climbs down off the couch and off to find his sister.

I look down at the paper, curious as to what he would have given me.

Painstakingly, he’d sketched a heart in the center of the page and signed his name in a loopy, scrawling way that only a five-year old can. The tears begin again, but this time, they are happy tears.

He rushes back into the room, his sister and their Lego people in hand.

“See, Mimi? I fixed Mama’s heart.”

And I marvel at them, as they dogpile on top of me, at how I ever got to be so lucky.

30 Comments to

“What Was Broken Is Now Healed”

  1. On May 11th, 2012 at 1:38 pm Scroogy Says:

    Times like these make all the pain and heartache and frustration and headaches worth it.

  2. On May 11th, 2012 at 1:42 pm Alex@LateEnough Says:

    I teared up a bit. Children are amazing. Sending you a hug too.

  3. On May 11th, 2012 at 1:42 pm Rachel Says:

    Sometimes, it’s amazing, simply amazing, at how insightful our little ones are, even at such young ages. We’re so busy trying to take care of and preventing their future boo boos, while they are silently studying us trying to fix ours. You’ve got some amazing kids there; that’s how you know you are doing right by them!! HUGS!

  4. On May 11th, 2012 at 1:46 pm Maggie Says:

    This is absolutely beautiful and made me cry, damn you AB! You’ve got some special little people right there. Hugs xx

  5. On May 11th, 2012 at 1:49 pm Kat Says:

    <3 You got that lucky because you are awesome. <3

  6. On May 11th, 2012 at 1:49 pm BakingSuit Says:

    Hugs. Your kiddos are certainly something special. As the rednecks would say out here, “You done did good, Aunt Becky.”

  7. On May 11th, 2012 at 2:07 pm Ms Dreamer Says:

    Stop chopping the onions, you assholes!

    Seriously, Bex…I will one day come to your house and give you the biggest goddamned hug. ever. I know it won’t compare to your awesome children’s hugs, but damn I give good arm! You’ve got the best kids ever.

  8. On May 11th, 2012 at 2:10 pm panickitten Says:

    aunt becky,
    this is exactly how i feel today. thank you for this.

  9. On May 11th, 2012 at 2:11 pm CycleNinja Says:

    Not lucky. Deserving.

  10. On May 11th, 2012 at 2:18 pm Meg Says:

    Sometimes they are the only ones that can fix mama’s heart boo-boo’s! Thanks for sharing this.

  11. On May 11th, 2012 at 2:21 pm Grace Says:

    So sweet it breaks my heart! You are so loved, my dear. By them, by your many readers and friends. It’s just too bad that all the love in the world still can’t mend us when we’re really broken.

    You have amazing children. And they have an amazing mother.

  12. On May 11th, 2012 at 2:31 pm Brittany Says:

    Becky I am so sorry you are hurting. I love you sweetie and I know your babies do too. Big hugs, my gorgeous Aunt Awesome!

  13. On May 11th, 2012 at 2:42 pm Her Ace in the Hole Says:

    Ohhhh. He’s so right. Love this.

  14. On May 11th, 2012 at 3:00 pm Fallah Says:

    Dammit Becky. You’ve got me all teary-eyed. I come here for dick-in-a-box jokes not touching gestures by your adorable children! Ok ok fine I come here for both.

  15. On May 11th, 2012 at 3:28 pm Tracie Says:

    You have just turned me into a puddle of tears.

    Sending a lot of love your way.

  16. On May 11th, 2012 at 3:34 pm Becca Says:

    And now I am crying for you.
    I love this so much.
    Sorry you were hurting.

  17. On May 11th, 2012 at 3:44 pm justkeepinitrealfolks Says:

    DAMN, I sure wasn’t expecting to cry like a blubbering idiot from visiting your blog today. Sure hope your boo boo heals soon!!!!

  18. On May 11th, 2012 at 3:55 pm Krlr Says:

    You have some beautiful, wise children there – and they have a beautiful mommy. Take care of yourself.

  19. On May 11th, 2012 at 4:00 pm Nicki Says:

    Fuck, now I am crying!! Your children’s empathy says so much about them but also about you as a mom!!! You totally deserve them!! You obviously taught them what care, concern and healing is about.

    This reminds me of when I worked at a daycare center and taught 2-3 year-olds. One day, I was really sad and kept trying to hide my pain in front of the kids. Sammy (he was just shy of 3) came up to me and asked, “Are you sad?” I said, “Yes, Sam, I am.” He said, “You need to see ‘Silly Dancing.”” I asked him what that was and he proceeded to flail about in the most uncoordinated way. I laughed so hard that I did end up crying. Tears of such great appreciation for this little man who has been on the planet less than 3 years yet diagnosed and treated me better than any adult could. Hell, he was the only one who even noticed I was feeling down!

    I am sorry you are hurting and I pray for your healing.

  20. On May 11th, 2012 at 4:55 pm Teala Says:

    You have some seriously loving and sweet kids! I’m crying for you, but they are happy tears. I love you and them!

  21. On May 11th, 2012 at 6:27 pm Jen Says:

    As a Mama to two kids very close in age to yours…I get it. Your kiddos are so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. XOXO hope your heart is on the mend.

  22. On May 11th, 2012 at 8:00 pm Becky Mochaface Says:

    Absolutely beautiful post

  23. On May 11th, 2012 at 8:22 pm Ewokmama Says:

    That’s the best Mother’s Day present – your kids cheering you up.

  24. On May 11th, 2012 at 8:37 pm nikkiana Says:

    What sweethearts you have!

  25. On May 11th, 2012 at 9:36 pm Michelle Says:

    Oh my goodness! That was such a sweet post. You are good at snarky but also good at the sweet stuff too. 🙂

  26. On May 12th, 2012 at 11:42 am Sue at Naperville Now Says:

    killer post, AB.

  27. On May 12th, 2012 at 3:09 pm Lynda M O Says:

    You respond with amazement when the kids reflect back to you what you give them. I wonder why??? Your compassion is known world-wide, Becky, give yourself the credit for where these young ones learned their empathy. Wonderful contributions to our gene pool.

  28. On May 12th, 2012 at 7:19 pm Jae Says:

    This post makes me smile all the way to my heart. 🙂

  29. On May 13th, 2012 at 3:27 am Devan Says:

    So Sweet, I love it and your littles!

  30. On May 16th, 2012 at 10:13 am leanne Says:

    I had this beautiful comment all ready to go and then I got something in my eye and I can’t really see the keyboard to type anymore. Love you all.

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