Early this morning we are changing shift for our separate exercise routines – he freshly showered from his five mile run, me zipping up my coat to catch a few friends for a three mile walk. We’re in the kitchen and Ralph is frying up sausage and eggs, brewing coffee. This evening I’m heading out of town to catch a concert with a friend, so I have to sort our family details with The Man. As we talk I notice the movie we rented last night is lying on the counter (as yet unwatched). I tell him it’s a three-day rental; we can watch it Sunday night when I get back, or he can watch it tonight without me if he wants.
“I won’t get time to watch it tonight,” he says breezily. “I’m planning on having a few friends over for dinner and video games, making some meatloaf.” He nods, casually, as if it is No Big Deal that he’s entertaining tonight. I know he will use my famed baked potato preparation and find my recipe on my food blog but take all the credit from his dinner guests.
I further predict I will get a panicky call on my cell at 5:37 PM tonight because the ketchup sauce top is burning.
After I get home from the walk – exhilarating, energizing – I crawl into bed with my warm and sleepy daughter. I hold her close as we talk and she waits for her daddy to finish preparing her breakfast. Her skin is soft and she wears a pink undershirt and smells delightful in so many complicated and child-like ways. I feel overwhelmed with gladness and want to tell her how happy I feel with her. I search my heart for the truth and I know it is still there, so I tell her: “Sophie, you are the most beautiful person I know.” She pauses, then looks me in the eye and brushes hair out from my face. She says, “I was a little baby… then I grew up to be a Big Girl, then I’ll be a Woman… then I’ll be a SKELETON!!”