I am watching him sleep.
I love his little lips, sleep nursing.
I love his eyes, lids closed.
I love his rubber-band wrists.
And his long, limp limbs.
I love this gorgeous boy.
Gathering flowers for Mama.
Learning to wave.
Waving at all of us.
Waving at the cat.
Waving at the piano.
Who will wave back?
Trying to fly.
With plastic grocery bags.
Did it work?
“If only I could actually enjoy this while I am doing it!” she said.
Making brother laugh again and again. He laughs. They laugh.
Painting with petals.
My girl is a natural.
the wave of summer
by watching Ellen,
free in the rhythms of her little being —
I saw the way the way Amie
wrote emoshons (emotions)
on a scrap of paper
on the floor, in her room
and I wondered about ordering a spelling curriculum.
(I could use it too.)
I kept Wallace up too late,
because I wanted to keep
reading Edward Tulane* to the girls,
but it’s such a sad story — that
it’s hard to find a good stopping point
and the sadness of the book
was flowing into the sadness in my heart.
It isn’t a wide river
but it contains
unresolved thoughts about Harry;
unpleasant visits to the orthodontist;
and, most recently,
an unsettling conversation in which I felt
when I was hoping to feel
And so as much as I wanted to sink into Edward Tulane, I couldn’t.
I am watching my niece, Camille. She is two.
She walks around outside, picking blackberries, filling her pockets with lavender flowers, and following the older cousins everywhere. As she comes around a corner she sees Grandfather, sitting at the children’s picnic table with a few bites of mouth-watering berry crisp left on his plate. She makes her way toward him, making no effort to hide her intentions. “Me, pie?” Yes, of course he shares with her. And then he tenderly wipes raspberry juice off her little face. Watching them together reminds me of my girls when they were tiny — and the way Grandfather would talk with them and help them, always sitting or kneeling to be at their level.
A few minutes later, Camille emerges from the house, dressed for the fashion runway, cluching Grandmommy’s hand. Camille stands still while we all admire her, and after all the “oohing and ahhing” she reaches back for Grandmommy’s hand and goes inside. She comes out again, in a completely different ensemble. And then again. And again — each time attached to Grandmommy, her personal fashion consultant. This too, reminds me of my girls, dressing up in the treasures from Grandmommy’s collection — a seemingly bottomless chest of thrifted clothes and accessories.
My girls still like to dress up, but they no longer need to hold Grandmommy’s hand to walk in high heels.