Melted snow penguins on the back porch. Red pepper relish with dinner. A balmy 56 degree day in the middle of January and we didn’t even think to open the windows.
Bee is making obstacle courses, making dinner. Are you gonna use those chives? she asks of the parsley.
This morning, she takes a pen to her Junie B. Jones chapter, strikes out words like stupid, crybaby, hate. Inappropriate, she mutters, cross-legged with a Sharpie cap in her teeth.
I tell her she’d make an excellent editor someday, but she wants to be a “biological mother” married to a cowboy.
I don’t tell her she can be both.
Sounds: The quiet rap-rap-slide of the Sorry board. Yesterday’s boots thumping in the dryer. A sparrow’s call, while on our walk.
He says poomba for all things culinary, and somehow we know the difference, every last one of us. We know the times that poomba means spoon; we know the times that poomba means fork. Yesterday, poomba meant curry-from-his-hands, and miraculously, even that was no surprise.
Bamma is salami, and also football.
In the evening, I offer him a flameless candle to smell. Hot, he says, in perfect annunciation, a chubby hand flying up to shield one eye.
Daily, we learn his language. There’s an entire civilization in there.
A reminder, scrawled hurriedly on the back of the grocery list:
When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone. And I believe they may be the things that mean most to you, and that even your own child would have to know in order to know you well at all. -Marilynne Robinson
My friend’s daughter asks me about college – what was it like? – and I find I’ve forgotten most except for a September afternoon when the sun was low and bright and gold, Ken and I walking to class from the commuter lot, me in my head singing Dashboard lyrics from the car CD player he installed, me wearing Lovespell lotion on my arms, me having just learned the word substratum in biology, beginning to understand it all.
A voicemail from my father: Tell Ken the lumberyard is having their big bag sale, but only through Sunday.