Ours was a week that was both glorious and terrible. Bikes and bistros, disagreements and diaper rash. For every moment of beauty, it seemed, a futile moment trailed. Laughter around a bonfire, the bite of a mosquito. Tortoise hunts, a bloody fall on the rocks. Trust gained, trust lost.
Small and ill-timed furies shouldered until not.
In the end, the glorious won out: apologies doled out like gumdrops, a flash of a red cardinal on the porch, the height of a balloon. Brightness returning, eventually. Forgiveness again.
This, too, is the week in which I have stumbled upon the perfect dinner party spread: a quartet of galettes and a pile of forks. Adults deem it fancy; children deem it pie. Either way, bellies fill.
We have been reading James & the Giant Peach together, the kids and I, over breakfast oatmeal and on the back deck for lunch. In the morning, Scout runs laps around the kitchen island while we lose ourselves in silkworms and sharks. I was just her age when I read it, and I remember fixating on the part where poor James drops the bag of magic, how everything else would have been different had he not tripped over the stump. How the story hinged on that one mistake, how unfortunate it was, how he’d lived through so many injustices already, and here, one more.
I had failed to see the adventure in everything after, the wonder of life going on anyway. Of our story surprising us, growing our own small plans into a giant peach or otherwise.
I do not fail to see that anymore.
All else: Luring toddlers on woodsy hikes with a pocketful of pretzels. Blankets on the grass. Three hours of sunshine, rosy cheeks, playground squeals, hands blackened from the tire swing. Chlorine in our hair, spitting watermelon seeds into last year’s garden.
Scrawled in my journal, from Barbara Kingsolver: Thanks for this day, for all birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.