American Flatbread Flatbread Kitchen
The first weekend of April, 1995
Tonight’s menu and baking are dedicated to:
THE FAMILY BED
The children and I climb the stairs on our way to bed.
On with the ‘jams, then brush the teeth; we wash our face and hands. We are together. Laughing and talking getting ready for bed. “Read to me first ” cries Willis who is three. I look at Hanna, half grown at eight years, she looks back at me with patience.
“Pick out your books and jump into bed, I’ll be with you in just a minute.” ( I go downstairs and fill the old stove with big chunks of wood. It is cold for April.) Then back up, I join them in the big bed. The three of us like peas in a pod, my mother would have said. One book for Willis (Dr. Suess, I suppose); A chapter to read in Hanna’s grown-up chapter book. I reach to turn out the light. “I love you little ones.” “I love you too,” says Hanna. “I love you too,” her brother mimics (mimicking is how three year olds learn, of course.) “Good night, sweet dreams.” “Good night, Dad.” “Good night, Dad.” The two of them respond. Everyone wiggles as they find just the right spot. And then the children fall asleep. Leg to leg. Shoulder to shoulder. Our noses filled with each other’s familiar odor. The sounds of common breathing and each other’s heartbeat.