My eyes snap open. My nine-year-old starts his day asking Alexa how to build Lego structures.

“MOM, I NEED TO EAT.” My four-year-old shouts.

My head sinks into my pillow. I sigh,  a deep billow released.

The day trudges on like the one before and the one before and the one before.

I’m a statue at the kitchen sink, water streaming out the faucet. Sun from the window glows around my face as I stare into nothing. Unblinking, I remember a world before a virus shut it down. A world before responsibilities clung to me like stones. A world safe and full of potential.

Later, I focus in front of my laptop, working. I try to collect my thoughts, but they spill onto the floor. The kids bang and scream in a whirlwind around the house. My head thumps onto my desk. I squeeze my eyes shut.

Ten o’ clock and I finally unwind in bed. In the coolness of my basement lair, tension unfurls from my body. A silent hummurmurs around the house.

Clunk, clunk, clunk. My forehead wrinkles. It thuds in double now.

Two little bodies slink into bed with me. Thin, long limbs wrap around mine. A head wrests on my shoulder, another on my stomach.

“I’m Mom-mom’s baby,” my four-year-old coos.

“Mommy, I’m cold,” my nine-year-old quivers as he absorbs into me.

Warmth envelops me. Snuggled with my cubs, I smile.

By Imperfection

Bridgit Kuenning-Pollpeter is a mom and writer from Omaha, Nebraska but recently relocated to Urbandale, IA. When she’s not chasing children, picking up messes or reorganizing the house, she enjoys yoga or reading to relax. In her spare time (A.K.A. her dreams) she’s a Broadway star. Kuenning-Pollpeter is a freelance marketer during the day, a creative writer at night. Her work has appeared in the Brevity blog, The Omaha World Herald, 13th Floor, Misbehaving Nebraskans, Hippocampus, Emerging Nebraska Writers and Random Sample Review. She has her BFA and MFA in writing from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her essay “The Body” was a McKenna Fellowship finalist, and her essay “Imperfection” was a 2020 Best of the Net Nominee. She is blind and writes frequently about disability. She’s working on a memoir about the disabled feminine experience. With the kids though, expect it in stores in about a decade.


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