Yesterday, she cut her third tooth, and today it rains and rains. (So sharp and white, the glare, the windows.) Years ago, I dreamed my teeth fell out while I was standing in line at the grocery store, that I coughed and when I looked into my hand I found them: shiny, bone-like. I remember feeling terribly embarrassed of them and shoving them deep into my pockets. These days my dreams are quick and panicked, and I seem to remember all of them because I never get past them in sleep: I hover at the edge, like I’ve rolled up my blue jeans and am just sitting by the shore; I don’t go any further than that; too afraid, I guess, that I won’t hear Eva if she cries. I’ve been thinking of her growing up, how she’ll lose these teeth, how we’ll joke about doorknobs and strings and taking bites of apples, how she’ll have dreams that she could never recount to me, dreams she won’t even recall. The rain will stop. (I think it already has.) But now this: more glare through the windows; my hand absentmindedly touching her forehead, forever checking for fever; my finger reaching into her mouth and pressing on her gums. Teeth, I say. Teeth.
1 napping baby
1 scoop homemade egg salad
1 cold Diet Dr Pepper
the sun slanting (///) through the blinds
Miles on the stereo
first day of fall
O Evabird, somehow Day 300 slipped by without a 1000 pink balloons to celebrate. I guess that’s how it happens: the days get more and more slippery; fall keeps coming, year after year. All week I watched yellow school buses and knee-socked girls, and I imagined how, not so long from now, you’ll be running to catch your own bus.
Already you’re teaching me. Just yesterday, you fell backwards down a few stairs, and I picked you up, so sure that you were hurt, so sure that you needed me, only to have you wail more. Finally, I put you back on the steps, and you stopped crying. You were crying, I realized, not because you were scared or in pain, but because the stairs had been taken from you.
You, my little love, are funnier and smarter and sweeter every day; every day you become even more of who you’ve always been. Aw, 303, the day we saw a flock of white balloons flying through the blue. It’s hard for me to imagine that 304 could be any better.
Last week, it was brought to my attention that my Irish twin of a brother (today 36!!!!!!) doesn’t like the word “word,” as in “Word?” as in “Dig?” perhaps even as in “Word!” and all I can think is: how can this being with whom I share at least an eighth of a brain and a quarter of a soul, how can he turn away from words? I mean, my brother, don’t you know what words are? They’re bananas and Cheerwine and these huge sunflowers that Eva and I saw late this afternoon when we were walking through an alley and the whole sky turned pink. Words, my brother, are cats on roofs and drives in the mountains, are puptents and cigarettes and staying up all night telling jokes, are Mama Heaton’s front porch and Pappy’s ukulele, are swimming pools and movie stars and meeting in the panhandle to give you a car; words are, are…; oh, they’re sweet and sticky and sometimes icky; oh, those silly words: when all else fails, they rhyme with birds (!); oh, words, forever words, three words, a million words; they’re verbs and nouns and mom and sky; they’re me and you and airplane blue; they’re more (always more); they’re happy, happy (ever so happy!) birthday to you.
Yesterday was my first day back, and except for the time the nanny called (Let this serve as a reminder for us all to turn off our ringers, I said), and except for the time I started babbling about how I thought we were all in a dream, and except for the one brief comment about manhandling texts and the other brief comment about herpes and semicolons, and except for the moment when I realized they are now HALF my age, that when I was their age, they were Eva’s age, and except for the second when we just stared at each other as if through glass or windows or rain and were probably all thinking about where we had come from or where we were going, thinking about anything except where we were; except for all that, it felt good–really good–to be back.