Thursday, February 16, 2012

i needed this.

I stand in front of the wood block board, hulling strawberries and listening to the sounds of five thirty pm. Silas climbs in and out of cabinets, spreading plastic bowls and trays on the floor, dumps out a box of plastic forks. Nicky's playing Monkey Moves, dancing around the living room. I'm enjoying the chance to cook a meal slowly, brushing butter and rosemary onto salmon, drizzling maple syrup over squash. Silas buries his face in my legs and lingers while I pat his back, then takes off again, legs lifting side to side, laughing at brother. He'll be back in two minutes to repeat the process. This is all day, this little dance we do, and some days I sigh at it but today I reveled. Papa comes home; now we're all here.

Today there is no rushing off anywhere, so we take our time eating around the table-Nicky prays thank you God for this food and for the Earth and for my parents and everybody says Amen! and Silas throws food on the floor and looks up at us for a response. Nicky tries asparagus and likes it. More and more adventurous with food, that boy. I remember when he survived on beige food only, when I was putting yellow squash in his quesadillas. Ricky runs the bath while I load the dishwasher and I hear him playing blues to them while they splash and pour. I join them, stretch out on the carpet, then slather lotion and zip up footie pajamas, laugh at Silas, lean my head on Ricky's shoulder. This.

I read out loud from Little House in the Big Woods, stopping every few sentences to explain things like kerosene lamps and lead bullet-making and panthers. Then he cleans teeth and we all say our good-nights and he says I love you to the moon and back and to the moon and back and to the moon and back. That's further than heaven, he tells me, so satisfied and safe.

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