Important Things

“Mama, I have a list. A to-do list. For you,” my son tells me. He’s holding a scrap of Christmas wrapping paper and pretending to refer to notes.

“Number One. Kiss me. Number Two, Play with me. Number Three, buy me a banana split tomorrow. Number Four, buy me a hamburger tomorrow.”

Check, and check. And check and check.

Nels is indefatigable. Currently, he wants more carnivorous plants (the Dionaea Muscipula I procured for him for Christmas, is dormant). What I don’t know about growing carnivorous plants is a lot, so that’s a learning curve there. He wants us to take a vacation. You and me both, Little Guy! He wants to change his name to D.J. He insists on having a sleepover but then calls right before our cut-off transport time of 11 PM – he’s not comfortable sleeping at this particular house afterall. In the morning when I wake he’s cuddled up against me, pushing his long bony feet under my legs and sighing happily, laughing, in his dreams.

It has been lovely having Phoenix home for winter break. She is catching up on the sleep she misses due to school attendance. She’s been drawing and gifting these drawings to friends; she’s helped out a great deal with housework. She’s house- and cat-sitting for my mom, next door. She takes the time to teach her brother the somewhat complex board game friends bought the kids. She helps bake scones for her dad, when he gets home from work. She writes RP scripts to the applause of many online fans. She puts her arms around me while I do dishes.

I vacillate between volunteer work, household work and errands, and greedy time snatched in my sewing room creating new things. Today: a two-tone bowling shirt embroidered with my son’s name. Tomorrow – who knows?

In the car; talking about a recently-viewed B-movie, imagining doing battle with the featured large anthropomorphic plant monster. We’re delivering kill-quips just before we spray the monstrosity in the face with our Weed-B-Gone. Nels is surprisingly adroit at the verbal game. “I can’t stamen-d you,” he deadpans, then lifts his hand with a crooked index finger and sprays the imagined creature in the eye. “Your bark is worse than your bite!” [spray] “See you later, pollinator!” [spray] The entire car dissolves in giggles. After a few of these we fall silent and our errand-guest, a young boy of eight, tries his hand. “Keep your timber to yourself!” The car is silent, chewing that one over, and the boy gives a little sigh of defeat then urges Nels: “- Do another one!”

It still gets dark so early.

Cold and threadbare but a little food in the fridge, a little gas in the tank, and a great deal of good cheer.

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