Wednesday, November 17, 2010
"When I'm seven," Janie says, "I'm gonna love it, I just know it." She flops a soft-back reader on to one leg, runs her fingers over the words. "'Cause I'm studyin' to love it," she says then furrows her brow and pokes at the next sentence.
She unravels the words, one line to the next, adds commentary at the commas and periods. I draw circles on her shoulder with the tip of my finger. "Uh huh," I say, "Good job."
Lulie wriggles herself onto my lap, curls up like a kitty. Jane stops, squeezes sister's soft cheek, "Do you want to hear a story, honey?"
They giggle back and forth like a birdie in a badminton tournament until, "Okay, okay, read, Janie," and she opens her mouth and the words come out. From page, to brain, to little mouth, she's making story out of black squiggles on a page. Studyin' to love it.
Later at dinner she dresses a third baked potato in butter and cheddar and spills all over the brown table. I wipe her fragments into a pile. We bump elbows. "I made most of the mess," she comments.
"Was that you?"
I kiss the top of her head.
She looks up, "All you are is just a chunk of love," she says. "To me, you are just love. If I were gonna draw you, I would just draw love." Our eyes smile at each other.
"I love you, too."
I polish potato streaks out of the table and soak in the love.