by thea marie
Memories, mined for writing practice
|Lying on my side, I peered through the wooden bars in anticipation of my mother bringing my bottle to me. I don’t remember her handing it down, but I taste the warm, sweet, thick condensed milk as it fills my mouth and my belly, lulling me into sleep. That was in the days before manufactured infant formula, when mothers followed the example and advice of their own mothers more than they took seriously the suggestions of doctors.
Later, I woke alone in predawn light,the empty bottle pressed against my cheek. Recalling the taste, I tried to draw from it again, but it was empty, and I cried because it was.
I can recall later asking my mother for a bottle. She told me that I was too big, and I tasted anger and frustration over her refusal. I wanted to experience that satisfaction and security once again. I wanted to be full and content like that time I remembered.
But my mother didn't understand what I was asking of her. I didn't know at the time that she couldn't give me what I wanted. All she could see was that I was too big for a baby's bottle. All I could hear was that I was too big to feel that way again.
I don’t think I’ve had anything so satisfying since that last bottle of milk consumed that night in my crib.