annarosenblumpalmer.com
5,468 days. - Anna Rosenblum Palmer
He stands, arms outstretched, holding my towel out for me to step into. “I am your towel rack” But are you my heated towel rack I ask him. We had left the bathroom store Wordlessly he brings the towel to his mouth and begins blowing on it like he did when our boys lost their mittens in the Vermont winters. He would be crouched down scratchy face to shiny one. Both of his large hands would wrap around the little dimples one and he would lower his face and warm freezing fingers. “You are my footrest” I tell him. Just an hour ago he joined me on the love seat picking his way through dogs and tea mugs and throw blankets. He lifts my legs and slides into the newly emptied seat. Then he re sets things. Pillows as props, dogs back on laps. With one pat for the blanket and another for the dog he has become one with our snuggle. I wiggle my toe in greeting and request and his hand wraps around my foot, fingers landing in the arch and squeezing it just so. It is a trick to wedge yourself into a small space and make it even better after your arrival. One of my sons know it. The other doesn’t. “I can be your bra” he offers now, hands empty of the towel but still reaching towards me. I wriggle out of his grasp. It is astounding how much he loves the physical me. I know I make him laugh and talk about his fears and am a wonderful mother to his sons. But this body? I can barely look at myself. When I get dressed I pull on a wiry torture device and drape myself in soft shapeless clothes. I am never happier than I am in elastic waisted pjs hugging a pillow to my belly, it’s softness disguising mine. This man, my husband, does not see me this way. He is always reaching out. Sometimes I worry what the boys will think if they round the corner and catch him burying his head in my chest or squeezing my butt with both hands. He is stroking my arm slipping his hand up its cuff to touch my forearm with his finger. “Your skin.” He says. “I love your skin. When I look at my skin it is to notice it’s dryness, it’s ability to grow weird bumps, or it’s wrinkly-ness. My hands are the first part of my to give up any shadow of youth. Sometimes I slide the skin taut and smooth and wonder where all of the time goes. “No bra?, I can be your blanket” He is draped over me, gently pushing me to the bed. But he can’t be my blanket. Not right now. I am usually out time keeper and I have slept on the job, we are headed out to dinner and a concert and we will be late if we don’t leave. “You are my Uber driver” ...