The mornings are perfect. Especially this morning, with its July rain, and lavender-hued sky.
My little boy is up, walking a little sideways, covering one eye with his hand as he rubs away sleep and night. “Good morning,” he says. Then he runs to the bathroom, slams up the lid to the potty and pees; for a very long time. Then he reappears in the living room and announces: “I had a lot of pee in me!”
We snuggle on the couch and he kisses my forehead. He tells me he loves me and begs for Cheerios, sometimes with milk, sometimes without. He tells me he wants to be a fireman when he grows up or a horse rider. I tickle his back, and remind myself that he will turn four soon. So I hug him a little tighter. I tell him I will always love him. I tell him he is special and that I am unlucky because I have only one son and not 10 just like him.
He giggles and says, “You wanna have three sons!?” I say, “You were a giant baby! The day you were born, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I looked over and saw you under these big bright lights and your chest was so big. I was like, wow, I have a boy!” He smiles from one end of the Milky Way to the other.
But, by noon, the yellow Tonka truck is whizzing from one end of the house to the other. It comes within hairs of scarring the legs of my Pottery Barn table. On one pass, it scrapes the paint off the door jam. The hardwood floors in the hallway creak more than ever. They are pounded day in and day out, year after year, by the same four little feet running the obstacle we call home. The squeaky planks chime with the rattle of glass door knobs, loosened by forceful chubby hands, still too little to open doors.
Fish Sticks and Ketchup
Every day, these hands reach for fish sticks and more ketchup. Later, when I clear their lunch plates, I see that they’ve eaten half a bottle of ketchup and no fish sticks. I stand at the sink and eat them. All of them. And, I hate fish sticks. The next day, I fix them peas because they never eat any vegetables, and then I remember that peas are legumes, and I suck.
But, by the bewitching hours of afternoon, I will have wearied of her begging for one more sippy cup of milk and one more ‘poon of peanbutter. She’ll turn the sippy cups upside down and shake patterns of milk onto the floor. Most of the peanut butter will be on her face. At night, after I put her to bed, I will find the spoon between the couch cushions. The next day, I will take the cushions outside and spray them down with the hose. While my back is turned she’ll pick all the blossoms off my tomato plants.
But the mornings are perfect, especially, this morning. It is July, and rain has fallen on summer.