The first warm day

My daughter and I went on a mini trip by ourselves… and it was WARM!

There’s nothing like the first warm day. We’ve been inside, bundled, too little movement and too many snacks, since November. We’ve been in each other’s space, in each other’s business, on each other’s nerves. We’ve been tired. So tired.

Free the feet!

And then today. Today was the day the air conditioner in the car came on for the first time. Today was the first day we walked outside with no jackets. Today was the first day we could lean back on rocks and read by the river. The first day that ice cream actually made sense. The first day without socks!

How many days like this until next winter comes around?

How many more nights away with just this girl?

From my table

I’m participating in the Slice of Life Challenge
hosted by Two Writing Teachers

From my table in the corner of the trampoline park…

I see boys somersaulting over barriers

I hear a little girl repeating “Mommy, watch me! Watch me!”

I see a cool dad inventing jump challenges for a lucky son

I hear a squeaky voice yelling, “Keep going! I’m jumping to space!”

I see moms zoning out on their phones at benches to the side

I hear screams that curdle my blood but then always crumble into laughter

I see sweaty hair and sock feet

Boing! (My own photo; please don’t use or reproduce)

I hear breathless voices shouting “Stop! I was going to jump there!”

I see toddlers toddling

I hear would-be ninjas crashing into padded obstacles and thudding to the floor

I see my son, running freely after a long week indoors, red-faced, breathing hard, finally maskless, joyful, laughing

I hear his laugh like I haven’t heard all winter, kids like they haven’t been for way too long.

(Does it count as a “slice of life” post if it’s a slice of two days ago and not today? I never was that great at following rules.)

Little things

He forgot to read his book for school today. This he realized as he was putting on shoes to leave for school this morning after a leisurely four-day weekend. Instantly he transformed, from boisterous, cheerful almost-middle-school weirdo to panicked, shame-filled, sobbing nine year old. Oh, my child. I know how it feels.

I’m participating in the Slice of Life Challenge
hosted by Two Writing Teachers

I know how it feels to find myself late to a meeting for which I’m unprepared. To arrive at the presentation without my notes. To realize my phone is not charged– just as the important call begins. To forget the milk. Always. To run over to your school mid-day to drop off the permission form, the field trip money, the instrument, the book, the medicine I forgot to give you.  To get in the car and see, again, that I am already late to wherever I’m going, even though I had left plenty of time. 

“I’m a failure,” he cried to himself quietly in the backseat. Oh, my child. I know how it feels.

I know how it feels to see how other people remember. How other people stick with it. How other people finish. How they start right away. These things that should be easy. “You’re so smart,” they said, “Why can’t you do this?”

I’m great at Big Things, I have learned to say. Just not at the little things. I’m great at having ideas, ten or twelve of them while the rest of the group still sits silent waiting for inspiration. I’m great at solving the problem. At keeping my cool when shit gets real. At dreaming. I’m great at making a change, big change, like scrapping everything and starting over, like revising the text I worked so hard to compose in the first place, like rearranging the furniture in the middle of the night, like thinking up another way. I read fast, and I read everything. I’m great at imagining, just like you, and at words, and music, and seeing the whole big complicated picture in a flash. Just like you are.

But not at the Little Things. You don’t want me keeping your calendar, doing your errands, borrowing your stuff. I won’t remember what I told you last time, or much of what you told me either.  I won’t send you a birthday card, or a Christmas card most years. I couldn’t do homework, can’t return library books, drive around with stuff to return to stores in my car at all times, can’t mail a package. I make a habit slowly and break it easily. I’m always starting over. 

You, my child, are not a failure. You are a masterpiece. You are fallible like a human being, the most human of humans. Your laugh is easy and your wit blade-sharp. Your mind pops like a firecracker; your words follow your ideas like a tail does its comet. You’ll read your book this morning; you’ll talk about it animatedly; your ideas will inspire the others; your insights will be piercing, And different. Your day will be sparkly. Your life will be a sparkly life of Big Things.