Today was a day full of many good things. I was underslept and hungover and wretched this morning but I had the presence of mind to feel blessed because I thought of my children, sleeping and getting what they need, and how soon they would be awake and I’d hear their voices and I’d make them breakfast (a very amusing turnout of a grape pie, and I think I missed the mark a bit), and we’d take care of one another. In the afternoon as I watched a little Netflix and finished a sewing project and somehow stabbed myself about fourteen times with pins. My mom stopped by unannounced and we had coffee while she ate lunch. I finished up all the relatively large amount of handsewing and we had a long, long talk, and a good one.
So the weather may be damp and cold and my daylight hours more severely constricted than I would have thought possible (thanks to a very short day and very late schedule) but some days just work out. Case in point, today I spent money on only two things: books, and food. I picked up a super-secret Christmas present at the bookstore and while there found a $4.50 copy of hardback Just So Stories, a collection of children’s tales by Rudyard Kipling. These are close to my heart as my father read us these stores (as well as the novel Kim) to my brother and I when we were children. I was very gratified my daughter immediately opened the book and began reading and walked into the house shrugging off winter gear with her nose in the book (“… and his little girl-daughter’s name was Taffimai Metallumai, and that means, ‘Small-person-without-any-manners-who-ought-to-be-spanked’; but I’m going to call her Taffy”).
Nels stayed up all night last night so today he slept and slept and slept and as the day wore on more and more cats lay claim to the warm form in the bed. Eventually I saw the child’s ghostly form stirring from through the French doors and he came out with his little skinny body and his blonde mop of hair and crawled into my arms and began happily talking about samwiches.
Phoenix… so beautiful. Tonight Ralph told an anecdote about someone who put new kittens in a sack with a rock and tied up the sack and threw it in a river. Our daughter immediately recognized this for what it was – a true story of heartbreaking cruelty – and burst into tears. Despite the sadness of this little vignette (Ralph felt terrible, of course, and regretted sharing the story), my children’s empathy is just about the healthiest thing I can think of and as sad as she was I was there beside her as she clung onto my arm and wept and Nels’ deep hazel eyes got large and somber and he apologized and said it was his fault, because he brought up the subject of kitties (though certainly not murdered ones), and he told her he was sorry.
And we had a moment of silence and recovery.
Today I found and blog-published a brief piece I wrote on my daughter’s weaning – almost six years ago. Go ahead and read it and then cry a little.