Hello first day of the month!
What have you got in store for me?
Ah, two kids waking late, drowsily coming downstairs for cuddles on the couch.
Breakfast and chatter, the spoons chinking against the bowl sides
and after talk of wanting to read and other plans for the day and which to do first,
it's decided by a boy:
Practice first. He goes up the stairs to the piano,
notes faintly sifting through the floor and then
comes down and drums, wild rhythms leaping
through the door of the garage-turned-playroom.
My girl goes up to play piano
(having switched from violin, which didn't fit, to piano which does, oh, so much!),
and when she comes down,
she sits at her desk working on…"Don't look!"…
a secret project.
I sweep doghair off the tiles and mop,
sloshing water while the drums kathump and the cat sits in the wet patches.
I go out to free the chooks and they follow me, run under my legs as I walk back
so I think, Ah, you girls need breakfast,
and return to the pen with seeds. The hens follow, cluck and clutter at my feet.
The boy is doing his maths now, the book he loves; today it's all about the Arabic numerical system
and my girl shows me her project—it's a counting book for children. You have to find the cats in the castle. It's gorgeous and she wants to publish it someday.
I think she will, don't you?
she is practicing her 4 times tables on Timez Attack which she loves (Oh, mum it works! I'm remembering!).
I go clean a bathroom upstairs
and I can hear them talk while they work,
though it doesn't seem like work; it seems rather like Doing Something Good, doesn't it?
Well, it feels like flow to say to a boy, Hey I found a list of questions online about that book you're reading; want to check them out?
and he says, Sure!
and picks one that suggests he write a paragraph about his "classroom" from the point of view of an insect.
So he writes like a fly
buzzing 'round our living room. He writes over a page without pausing. It's complicated, and lovely.
And then it's time,
my boy decides,
to read on the couch.
Right about then
it feels right to say to a girl, "Hey, do you want to write about a character you like in Flyte and a character you don't?"
And for her to say, "Yeah!" and then, "Can I just tell you?"
And for me to say, "Sure!"
and for her to eat soup while I pull out the computer
and type as she talks.
Words bubble over, all about the girl character she loves ("she's smart and stubborn and doesn't want people to know she's a princess") and then
she laughs out loud,
because she's caught in a moment in the book and has to tell me all about it…
and then she describes the two characters she doesn't love
and she says "I feel sorry for him," the worst one, because it must have been awful to have been
(which is too terrible a spell to describe).
We talk back and forth and
lean towards each other and get excited,
because we both love this book and this series so very much…
and look! We just wrote two pages!
Which my girl wants to tweak on the computer, fiddle with the font and text size, and then?
finds a drawing program (of course) and starts to make art there on the screen.
Then, the day pulls us gently
to the Next Thing
Because It's time, don't you think? To Get Outside and
claim this sunshiney day?
Yes and Yes and Yes!
So we go to the beach
with the toys
and the dog
and the day is warm all over.
I take dozens of photos for a book they want to make
about toys having adventures,
inspired by this wonderful book they saw at Kinokuniya a week ago
meanwhile and in between,
shadow leap and
And a girl runs! (So does a boy but I don't catch it on camera)
And we walk the sand
two make sand balls
And a boy tells the step-by-step, moment-by-moment process of sand-ball making
(It's worth paying attention. This is a Fine Art).
We walk back to the car talking, skipping, delighting,
always and all-the-way-through delighting.
Home we go for hot chocolates and toast with honey and
then it's time for
a boy's band practice. We read in the car while we wait for him, a whole hour in the car but we don't mind
my girl and I keeping for company
the sound of pages turning…
music coming from the band room
through the open windows of the car…
and my husband (the band leader) hooting and whooping at the ends of songs.
Dinner is simple. Eggs and talking and my son making my daughter squeal with laughter.
It is night.
Two kids read in their beds
A kitten curls like a sleepy question mark on my lap
A sweet man kisses me
and I say,
first day of August.
wonderful to me.