Friday, May 21, 2010


Libbie gets halfway through a board book, turning one stiff page at a time, and then she gets pretty focused on finishing the darn thing. She's at her strongest when you're trying to tell her what the hungry caterpillar is gonna eat next, and she just wants to close the book and move on to the next. She's got no time for the wrap-up. "I get the idea", she says. "Now what's that one over there, the one with the hippos?"

Along with a host of other parents, we are constantly amazed at Jackson's memory. Drop an unnecessary word out of a sentence in the middle of a book at the end of a long day, taking this minimal shortcut once you see that his eyelids are drooping, and he twitches and turns to you, "No! 'The dog', daddy. Go back."

When you take your two little kids out for a romp in the cemetery, you search for that thick bed of moss, sphagnum I think, because it's the perfect bed for a three -year-old to spin and fall on, and for a one-year-old to roll and crawl and have her little spell of wailing and her long stretches of cooing and questing on. And, if you take my advice, you will lie on you belly, drop your face into the thickly tickling moss, let it take all of your weight and find that you can breathe easily through your nose. And you will smell the smell of cool earth and growing dense moss and that will be how you know it is a good day despite all of your questions.
Just watch your back, because your three-year-old will be jumping high into the air and crashing down butt-first right in the small of it at any time, now.

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