Today I had lunch with a wonderful new friend in Virginia, then putzed around for far too long at the Chanel makeup counter. (Yo, do you KNOW how fun the makeup counter is without kids swingin’ from your purse, pullin down your pants? I HIGHLY recommend it.)
EXCEPT then I sat in traffic for a looong looong time and got home after the kids had their dinner, in the midst of winding down time- except it was clear they had no intention of winding down. It had rained, but the little ones begged to go outside- so we went, on one of E’s excellent Worm Walks.
She’s six now, and W is 4- both recent developments that make them appear a foot taller overnight. She’s reading, some magical process that transpired in her sleep- OK, MAYBE with the help of her awesome teachers- and generally changing so fast my head is spinning. Everything is changing. All three kids are changing schools next year, to three different schools, which will require me teleporting. Everything is a bit of an unsettling mass of paperwork and uncertainty and parental questions and weighing of the pros and the cons.
But tonight, as we walked the sidewalks in search of tender charges requiring mercy, the knot in my belly let go. E and W kept up a constant patter that showed me their inner life in a way that I love- the way when they kind of forget I’m there.
“Awwww, look! Here’s a little guy! He’s a squirmy one, isn’t he? And a POOPER. He pooped on my hand! Here, let’s put you back where you go, little guy.” And she magnanimously places the worm from the sidewalk to the grass.
W exclaims, “You saved him! You saved him WIFE, E.” With awe and approbation. Clara Barton of the worms just moves on, eyes peeled for the next one needing her services.
“Ohhh, this one has a broken leg- poor fella. He’ll grow another one, right, mom?” I resist pointing out that worms have no legs, as I just don’t have the heart, and watch as she ceremoniously slides him into the grass.
“There, you! Go,be free. Go home to your family!” she says, and W nods vigorously. I imagine the intricate lives they’ve imagined for these worms, and the heroic role they play in restoring them from their prior dried up sidewalk status.
And it makes me happy to see them trudging along, hands swinging, talking about the red spiders that were on the monkey bars last week. And I realize that no matter what else may change, they’ll have each other. And the worms.
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