who & what she wants

This evening my husband stops in his tracks with his hands full of grocery bags. “Phoenix, you are such a young lady,” he says. She steps over and hugs him and they kiss and have a few tender words. Ralph gets choked up to see his little girl grow up. It’s good stuff.

She’s sun-kissed with brown skin and the red that comes out in her hair this time of year. She’s wearing a foreign little blue and white dress given to her by her new friend D.; the two girls had a campout last night and I went to pick up my daughter and she was in another girl’s too-small clothes, scowling while hoofing it on a skateboard. Later these two girls take the dog out for a long walk, then Phoenie gets in the bath and comes out smelling sweet, her toes clean and an off-the-shoulder little punky black shirt.

She’s between two worlds; sometimes little kid eating ice cream and getting it around her mouth all feral-like, other times displaying a social sophistication unrivaled by grownups I’ve met. I’m thinking more and more it would be cool if she kept those wild qualities her whole life. God Knows we socialize that stuff out of girls.

Summer schedule; up late, nighttime walks. I make Nels a Virgin Mary at tonight’s rather large dinner party – twelve people, I think – which goes over well. I’m tired but in a good way. Grateful to have Ralph home for three days in a row for our weekend.

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