Flash Fiction Fridays: Parenthood Month Draws to a Close


A big thanks to Jules Carey, Stephanie Haddad and Camille LaGuire for their great stories this month. Please join us next month as four writers explore the theme of "escape."

By Karen Wojcik Berner

At approximately three o’clock, on the morning of December 22, cries of “MOM. M---O---M!” woke Sarah. She got up, almost walked into the bedpost, and shuffled to Nicholas’ room.

“What’s up sweetie?”

“My head hurts. I can’t sleep.” She bent down and checked his forehead. He was really hot.

“I’ll get the thermometer. I’ll be right back.”

Sure enough. 102°F. “Let me get you some medicine to help bring your fever down and help with the pain.”

Nicky sneezed and looked at her through watery eyes.

“Let’s get you some decongestant too.”

“Will you stay with me?”

“For a little bit. I’ll be right back with your medicine.” 

Sarah re-tucked him in and put a cool patch on his forehead. She stroked his hair and sang softly to him. He fell asleep fairly quickly, but Sarah stayed with him awhile longer.

It was rare that she was up with Nick during the night. She was so used to baby Alex waking up.

Sarah looked down at him – somewhere in between little and big – and remembered when he was first born. The awe and fright of it all! The nurse came in the second morning to give her the “good news” that she was going home that afternoon. “Okay thanks,” she had mumbled in a state of shock.

What do you mean, go home? I’m quite happy where I am now, having someone else cook meals, shipping the baby off into the nursery at night, taking naps whenever I please. Who’s going to take care of the baby when I get home?

Sarah couldn’t believe it had been six years since then. People tell you to enjoy the time when the kids are little because it goes by so fast, but you never believe them, especially not when you are sleep-deprived. She bent down and kissed Nicky.

And in those quiet moments, suspended between day and night, Sarah knew how lucky she was.

Then she remembered that it was less than three days until Christmas.

This story is an excerpt from my first novel, A Whisper to a Scream, available for Kindle and Nook and coming to paperback next month.


David said…
Karen's Nicky gave me some insight into a precious time of life as a parent. It made me feel like I was experiencing this slice of life.
Thanks, David, and thanks for stopping by.

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