Sunday, October 10, 2010
"If everybody would just obey every rule at one time, everything would be perfect," Janie says. I turn the car into traffic, flip the wipers on.
"''It's just like, I'm wanting everything perfect, but my way." She licks a smudge of chocolate off her finger.
"What makes things perfect for you?" I ask.
"Mostly just like, hmm," she tilts her head, wrinkles her brow, "like if I'm pulling this box and it's really full of things and I'm pulling and PULLING and I finally do it, and I'm just like THAT is PERFECT, because I DID it." She crumples the chocolate wrapper, slides it down next to her seat. I bite the last bit of marzipan in half, press it to the roof of my mouth.
"So what do you think has been the hardest thing I've done lately?" I pass the last crumb of marzipan back to her. She nibbles it up.
"Hmm," she says, "probably not getting mad in situations where you think you should, but then you're like, 'No,' instead."
"You know me pretty well, Janie," I say.
"What's that mean?"
I reach back and grab her heal, smile to her in the rear view mirror, "Means I never even told you that, but you KNEW because you KNOW me."
"Actually, you did tell me," she says, "just not in those words." A red car whizzes by her window. I signal to the left lane, press into the brake. Just not in those words. I flip the wipers off. For a moment there I see it, my every gesture a thesis. She knows them all -- by heart.
239. Another impossible puzzle that husband and I do together.
240. The volley of conversation and rhythm of silence as we lean over the puzzle and press pieces into place.
241. A date with Jane.
242. Rowdy boy cousins (the good kind of rowdy) who come to play trains and disturb nary a puzzle piece.
243. Baked. Potato. Soup. My hugest stock pot full up of baked potato soup.
244. Piles of fabric organized into stacks of color and stripe.
245. A clock, a new clock! The old-fashioned face kind.
246. A couple of new shirts in sensible black and white.
247. Another day with my children -- healthy, whole, content.
248. Cereal and coffee every morning. The kind of cereal with pecans in.
249. A morning run again and again. Every day. But Sunday.
250. The way my children sword-fight and fight-the-bad-guys still for pretend.
251. The children's new toothpaste, same as when I was a kid. Mmmmm. Sorry Mom, I used to eat it straight out of the tube. So far I've only caught Lulie "brushing" her teeth that way.
252. Stripe blue knee socks turned into baby leg warmers.
253. Children played out all tired-to-the-bone and now asleep after the cousins drive home.
254. The miracle of good work turned exhaustion turned sleep.