Daughter of Mine, this isn’t how I planned it. Why aren’t we dancing in eyelet cotton dresses together, our bare feet pressing wildflowers? Twirling with our long curly hair dancing free in the sunshine? I DID lug my Wildcat 1972 portable record player last summer into the weedy clay of our yard, but you weren’t really into Creedence and asked to go inside to watch Spongebob.
|This mama doesn’t sneeze and swear when she’s around long grass.|
Why aren’t we canning our own apple sauce from fruit we pick at a local orchard? I have like five friends who do that. It’s not so far fetched…the smell of sweet fruit bubbling in our sun dappled kitchen…we could do that. Of course the kitchen is small and we’d have to clean it first which is very discouraging and also, sweetheart, it’s so much harder than just adding cinnamon to store bought applesauce. And honey I love you but you have done terrible things to my cooking when you help. Also I don’t know how to can.
|Now remember Mama, if you try and pass me, I’ll cut you.|
Bike rides! The reason I don’t like to bike ride with you darling is because you’re a teeny little pink helmeted fascist on a 12 inch bike. “MOM!! STOP MOM! YOU HAVE TO WAIT! STOP!” every time I even come close to riding along side of you. My gooch begins to ache as my short legs lower me on and off the seat twenty times per ride.
Oh but my darling girl. There are some things. We do lay on a blanket every summer and wait for the first star to show up. We do find creeks and lakes and swim in them, wrapped in tight hugs to fit together in “warm spots.” You’ve been to more history museums than most adults and you’re very good there, even though you have no idea why it’s so exciting to see a dusty quilt that came in a steamer trunk inside a prairie schooner over the Oregon trail. Because you’re five, and you don’t understand the words, “quilt” “steamer” “trunk” “prairie” “schooner” or “oregon”. So you see a very unpink, unruffly blanket you aren’t allowed to touch anyway, but bless you, you pretend appreciation to see me happy.
And your hugs and cuddles. Oh my baby girl. Never once, since you’ve been born, have you not come immediately to my arms if I stretch them out. Your dear Brubby runs the other way. But you come and cuddle down as naturally against my body as if you still lived inside it, you perfect silk cheek mushing happily against mine.
Then…you ask for a treat. Or a movie. Or for me to get you that doll on the top shelf that you’re not supposed to play with. Crackers. Strawberry milk. Another militant bike ride. Meh.
I love you, you little barnacle.