I walked around all week with the wet, heavy blanket of a head cold
spent one full daylight under covers
tried the wellness trick, Friday’s fancy dress, big smile, long meetings
still, throat sore, heels heavy,
Lucy honored at her school:
a leadership award for Work First, Play Later
she dressed herself fancy, gave us a sideways smile
we clapped, sat proud in bleechers
Betty pointed out, If it was awarded at home, Lucy wouldn’t be getting it
Friday’s darkness brought Betty’s 8th Birthday celebration
a long, damp walk with seven blondies
dinner out, kids at their own table
homemade cards, smiles and giggles
so good for my mind, my heart
to see her friend such lovely, sweet people
I tell her often
we truly become the company we keep
under so much wrapping, hints of a girl growing up
beneath Barbie’s Dog Agility board game, or within a blue sequins dress
a taste of it in Mad Libs, or on the vacation beach dresses
but the little girl in her stills squeals at the sight of
a baby African Forest Elephant from a lovely blue box
she has exactly eight stuffed eles now in her bed, this elephant lover of mine
so much like my Grammy Helen
Little sisters at 8 o’clock and 9 o’clock felt so cool to be a part of the sleepover,
up late, long talks with cool, bigger girls. Their fascination was obvious.
Little sisters made it to 10, made it through wiping tears, through us explaining their room their big sister needs at a sleepover, the room they share is now off limits. In our early 1900s bungalow, it’s tricky to find a solo spot, tricky to put just a few to bed early.
Luke and I on the couch, a little sister in tear-stained footie pajamas on each lap as we try to explain:
we need our own time away from one another, even if it’s just for
one safari black light poster coloring expedition
two pop show dance practices
three injured elephants at the closet zoo vetraiary hospital.
The Barbies had a fashion show past 11 o’clock, camped around the Christmas tree bright and early at 6:30 AM.
Yawns and smiles over bacon and pancakes; Betty had a great celebration.
I pulled off my pajamas somewhere after noon, took to pavement to sweat out a cold
steady, thick wind
our wild dog at my side, heavy beats in headphones
puffy, grey swaddled clouds darting across evergreens, sideways rain on a few street corners:
I could have run forever. I left congestion in the valley, found a smile when I realized labor had begun eight short years earlier.
Betty, I’d run anywhere for you or with you on my mind.
After stretching, I played a Chihuahua in the Dog Agility game
and just like that I rushed into
a shower, a lot of hair product, Spanx, heels, lipliner, Grandma’s broach, a vintage mink.
prime rib and a good cause,
flashy lights and a friend’s band
a good evening, indeed.
Sunday’s slow walk to donuts and coloring
kept our mind off Betty and Daddy’s ski date
it was weird to not spend the birth day with our firstborn, the sweet one who made me a Mama
but there’s fresh snow on Mt. Baker, the best sort of Daddy date weather
a van-load of friends and dads and lodge hot chocolate
she left before dawn, caught the first ferry to the mainland
before I could kiss her,
before I could tell her when she came into the world there were snowflakes on the other island we called home…
There’s still time to enter my Tote-ally Awesome Giveaway.