Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting It

Atop a wobbly stool I sit, one knee tucked under the counter, fingers stumbling across keys.

This is my escape. If I had the fortitude to do so, I would climb in and nestle against the steady hum of hard parts and slick wires.

I get it.

I do. Today my son and I debated the heroic traits of a cowboy and an astronaut. Maybe debate is too strong a word. He ran around the house with my old Woody doll (though my husband prefers "action figure") while calling him Buzz. I corrected him. A few times. I say debate. Call it what you will.

My daughter sang an aria. Her voice carried through the house, over the "Buzz" and the whir of the dishwasher. She punctuated her aria with shouts of agony attributed to two tiny buds forming on her tender pink gums. I spent an hour rubbing her gums while humming "You are my sunshine" and listening to Elmo drone on about going to the doctor.

I did brush my teeth. Granted it was after a lunch of stale crackers and celery sticks, brushed they are. My bicuspids do not keep time (though my incisors are rather annoyed at my tardiness from time to time).

The rhythm of my life is filled with the constant beat of fulfilling wants and needs. None of which are my own.

I'm OK with that.

***

I don't hate Facebook. Not really. It is like a sad little friend longing for attention. How can you hate the pitiful soul that wears too much blush and thinks stirrups are in? She spouts pithy statements about her life because in truth she longs for depth. She stares at the sink full of bowls of crusted oatmeal and mystery food, at the floor covered in Thanksgiving grime, the TV screen filled with purple dinosaurs and talking one-eyed monsters. She turns to the pulsing screen and faded keys for consolation when all she gets is a nod and a grunt from the fleshy figure that walks through the door mumbling about "me time."

Her fancy cookies, trips to Paris, and brilliant children are the flesh and bone of her existence. Facebook (Twitter, blogging . . . ) gives it life.

I get it. I do.

We all do what we must. Who am I to judge? Who am I to roll my eyes at photos of grinning children over a plate of iced gingerbread cookies with the Eifel Tower as the backdrop?

So maybe I'll roll my eyes a little. Just a little. And then I'll come up with my very own pithy statement.

***

Today I cut out little felt circles. I placed them on a larger piece of felt, stacking them atop one another to fashion a snowman. "What you do, mama?"JR asked.

"I'm making a snowman for you." I held up the pieces for him to inspect. He palmed them, feeling their softness between his palm and forefinger.

"It is a snowman, JR. We'll make real snowmen when the snow falls from the sky." The curious tilt of his head tells me he gets it. Images of snowsuits, sleds, and me and JR making snow angels crowd my thoughts.

"Mama?"

"Yes, baby?" I am filled with anticipation.

He drops the small felt circles to the floor.

"Buzz." He picks up Woody and pulls his string. "There's a snake in my boots!"

"Honey, that's Woody." I gently correct him.

"Buzz."

I pick up the circles and wonder how hard it would be to make a felt Woody. Or Buzz.

***

I lure him into the kitchen with the promise of strawberries and marshmallows. I toss marshmallows up and catch them in my mouth. He thinks it is the most amazing thing he's ever seen (his laughter is evidence). His little sister sits in her bouncer, amused at the squeals of her big brother. Their whoops and giggles fill the room. In only a few moments I find that I can "trip" and "fall" and JR is in near hysterics. His little sister can barely contain her glee. Larry. Curly. Moe. I'm all three to the delight of my children.

Walt Whitman once mused, "I am satisfied - I see, dance, laugh, sing."

I get it.

I do.

I totally do.

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Photo of the Week
Two Peas

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