Holding Space

By Kellie Purcill

There’s a divot in my back garden, directly outside my eldest son’s bedroom window. It’s still his bedroom, even though he lives away at university. It’s still a divot in the yard, even though it’s the sun-drenched resting place of my dog’s bones, there for a month now. Both gone, in different ways but nowhere …

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Hands Bigger Than Mine

By Kellie Purcill

Hand at work

I have big hands. I mean remarkably big hands. You can’t tell just by looking at me, but the width, length and span of my hands is enormous. If it comes up in conversation with a guy, I generally get “Oh, come on, they can’t be that big…” as he raises his own in challenge, only to (in all but four cases in the past three years) lower it, embarrassed and outsized. If hands are compared with another woman, almost always is there a wince of sympathy or an “I’m sorry” given, or startled “Whoa!” On one memorable occasion the woman in question gasped “Oh, you poor thing,” as she patted my arm, then brightly cheered “But at least you have great boobs!” Phew, I thought, weirdly amused, good thing I didn’t let the team down!

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Wasn’t there supposed to be more to it than this?

By Rosalyn Eves

Our UP CLOSE topic this month is on motherhood.  We are pleased to bring you this piece from guest author Rosalyn Eves.  She is a (mostly) stay-at-home mom to two young children, currently living in Southern Utah with her chemistry professor husband. She has a BA in English from BYU and an MA and PhD in English from Penn State, which she puts to  use by teaching the occasional composition class at a local university. In the little spare time that she has she reads, writes, occasionally runs, and generally avoids housework.

Before my first child was born, a good friend took me aside and warned me, “One of the hardest parts about being a mother is the boredom.” I looked around me at her comfortable home; at her two blond-haired blue-eyed children looking at a picture book near our feet; at the quilting project slung half-finished over the sewing machine; at the partially constructed puzzle on the floor–and I didn’t believe her.

Then I had my son. Once the initial shock and exhaustion wore off, I started to wonder if maybe my friend was right. Sure, there were those exalted moments when I snuggled my cheek against his, when I watched the tiny play of movement across his face while he slept, when we read books together and he laughed–but in between those moments were other, less exalting events: countless iterations of diaper changes, settling–again–in the chair where I seemed to nurse endlessly, and even, sometimes, trying to play with my son. Although he was fascinated by the colored blocks I offered him, there was only so much interest I could sustain in them.

This wasn’t exactly what I’d pictured when I signed up for motherhood. Wasn’t there supposed to be more to it than this? Wasn’t this supposed to be the most fulfilling thing I would do with my life?

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