Sometimes, as in nearly never, it feels like only a haiku will do. Tonight was one of those ‘sometimes.’
Fruit Snack Haikus:
“I can’t believe it–
We get a fruit snack tonight!
I’m not sharing mine.”
“Oooh, I love these, Mom.
I think I’ll savor each one
by sucking on it.”
I don’t want chicken.
Just ketchup and ice cream.
They make me happy.
“Yum. Corn Casserole.
Thanks, Mom, for thinking of me.
It’s my favorite.”
Bed time Haikus:
“But I’m not tired.
Can we read one more story?
Sleep with me, Daddy.”
“I already brushed
my teeth. Is it okay if
I stay up and read?”
New day tomorrow.
A clean slate for everyone…
It’s gonna be great!
Sometimes I see things I’m not expecting.
Like two untied tennis shoes kicked to the curb under the women’s handicapped stall door at Bethany Baptist Church.
My son who’d entered a moment earlier was seated and trying to make peace with the four pancakes he’d eaten last night.
I hoped all was going well.
I took a peek through the door crack. Which was when I saw a limp pair of underwear twisted inside out, a pair of pants still in the running position and two shirts taken off together all curled up in the corner.
My son who’d given up on the toilet seat, sat straddling the bowl itself. Wearing… his socks.
I figured this was enlightenment–
Until I was caught off guard by the dismount where my son clutched my jacket with both hands and shimmied off the throne.
I don’t know that there’s more to add except my personal confession: I wore that jacket the rest of the day.
I know there’s supposed to be a certain amount of sentiment that goes with finishing preschool.
Like tears or something.
all I’ve got is a kid who can’t stop smiling and asking what’s for lunch.
The same child who shouted a moment ago, “watch this, mommy!” and then rode “no hands” for most of a second on a bike still attached to its training wheels is also the child I found in the garage alone yesterday holding a hack saw and carrying two pairs of scissors in his right pocket.
Not that this explains anything…about anything.
It’s just that the same kid, without the saw or the scissors or the screws from his other pocket, spent the next generous hour in the garden bed with a trowel and a dump truck shoveling and shaping the dirt. Shaping and shoveling.
I might’ve watched forever.
From the kitchen window I could see his whole body embrace the earth. And…
and nothing seemed more peaceful. Or loving. Or pure…
Four days ago I hustled out to the backyard and drug in somebody’s bike. The clouds were already emptying, and I kept worrying about that poor bike seat. Only…
only I probably should have just shrugged instead because…
the four-year old owner of that bike grinned at his new indoor possibilities and took off rounding corners with the help of a training wheel or two. With his whole head facing behind him, he pedaled toward the bathroom telling me what I needed to hear, “it’s okay, mommy. I’ll stay away from the walls.”
And I softened.
At that time there was no future mention of running over his sister in the hallway or of black skid marks measuring three feet apiece on the hardwoods. There wasn’t even mention of a bicycle hovering at the top of the stairs.
If I can just make this announcement: my position on wet bike seats has changed.
Sometimes I stumble upon this and…
and I remember why we’re homeschooling.
In fact I forget for a moment the constant strain to be organized and socialized and educatized. I even forget how much laundry we have.
Because poetry-for-two ‘neath a green blanket in their pjs is more than I could have asked for.
She reads, and he listens.
He makes faces, picks his nose and leans closer. And she keeps reading.
And I bear witness: The words of Shel Silverstein never sounded more poetic.
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Because I didn’t blink, I witnessed my son’s cookie disappear in three chomps…to include the visual act of chewing.
Across the table, I watched my daughter whittle her cookie down to half its size in just thirty-five nibbles. In a lumpy pile at her fingertips was each chocolate chip still crusty with oatmeal.
“The most chocolate chips I’ve ever had in a cookie was NINE,” she said.
“Nine,” I nodded. “That’s something.”
I made a move to snag the pile of chips.
She gasped. Surely her mother wouldn’t.
I winked as I slid them back.
because she is my smeller of roses; my chocolate chip counter.
And oh, how I need her in my life.
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Our son has yet to fall on the bar of his bicycle and crumple into a little ball. We’ll give that time.
But he did manage to do one better.
While scaling the A-frame of our playset, his feet slipped and…and the rest of him straddled the edge of the wood frame on the way down.
From the initial wail, we knew we weren’t checking for blood and brushing the kid off. We weren’t grabbing a band aid either. We were, however, wincing empathetically as we held our son for twenty minutes who, in turn, held his weanie and bawled. There wasn’t much else to do.
Which isn’t to say that our daughter wasn’t taking the whole thing in.
Today she protected herself from her brother’s attack in the backyard. Only she cupped both hands in front of herself as his had been the day before and pleaded, “please don’t hit me in the nuts.”
We were four blocks and six minutes from the YMCA, growing older at a red light, when my daughter requested we listen to the music on channel 1.
I felt like I could pass on the violins today. But…
but it was the way my daughter asked–so unassumingly–that I pushed our first programmed radio station button– “channel 1″– and listened as a harpsichord concerto filled our van.
The effect was immediate.
My daughter went silent on her please-don’t-touch-me crusade from the backseat and murmured, “I just love concert music.”
My son quit poking his sister’s face and chirped, “I love it, too.”
And I…I forgot for a moment my urgency to get to the Y before the car ahead of me.
Peace hides in the strangest places.
I was hovering somewhere between the dishwasher and the fridge when my son slapped my behind giddily and shouted, “You’re it!”
With a reflexed left hand, I swiped his shoulder and countered, ” nope, bud. You’re it.”
My son crept in closer, circling the kitchen with his pointer finger, ready to poke and run. I washed my hands at the sink.
Then with an I’m-so-gonna-get-my-mom kind of giggle, my son made a few failed swipes before grazing the back of my leg with his finger.
He turned to flee. Only…
the poor guy grossly underestimated his mother who flung back a blind hand and laid him flat in front of the pantry.
His little finger rose from the heap as he explained too late, “mommy, I just wanted to be the tagger.”
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