Please write when my birthday is. My mom is the best. I thought my mom is so fat. I like shake shake after all banana cherry I love a hot dog with hoodie I love the hair hello a girl without a thing on the news Bellingham I love you buddy without I love.
– Edie writes via microphone transcription.
Once me and my mom went to the woods and it had a beach.
Then we went to a place where we can learn the ABCs. And then we went to a doughnut store where we got lots and lots of doughnuts. We were in California. Then we went to a circus. And I saw a giant elephant as big as a house. Then we went to a weird weird castle. Then we went to the zoo. And I saw baby giraffes and I said, “Mom can we please go feed giraffes?” And I saw a baby and I fed the baby. Then we went and met Emily Elizabeth and her dog Clifford. We rode on Clifford all the way to the docks and Clifford swam in the water. And he saw a mermaid and he came back up and told us he saw a mermaid.
Then we went and saw Princess Sofia.
Then we went and saw the watermelon girl. And she gave us lots and lots of watermelons. And her dress was covered with watermelons and she said we could feed some watermelons to her little pet she had; it was a cute little watermelon bear.
And then we went to the Studio and we saw a ballerina. One was spinning with one foot on the ground, one was spinning with two feet on the ground, one was leaping and one was plieing.
And then we went to the woods. We went to a different woods that had no beach. Then we just went home. And my favorite part was just being with you.
Parenting feels like a string of one-chance teachable moments and so much information that has to passed on to prepare them and bolster their psyches for a tumultuous future.
Edie: look, her name is Misty.
Mama: [reflecting on the common concern for dolls influencing little girls’ body images] Her legs are super long and her arms are so skinny. Also her head is bigger than her whole body. She’s so disproportionate, not like a real lady.
Edie: [sigh] Oh mama, that’s just the way this doll is. And her name is Misty.
But I don’t know why I try so hard sometimes. I thought she needed to protect herself from comparison, but she knew I needed a reminder about judging appearances and inclusion. Her heart knows it’s way better than I do.
Edie: She lives in a black hole and sells icecream.
Mine. Bread. Eggs. That bread, up, down, up, down. That Edie eggs. Dada!
See? See? No Edie. My see. I see. Me see.
Blink. Ah! Ah! I see! I SEE! Uh oh. Spot. Ow, uh oh, spot. Yeah. Mmmm, done. Yes. Hm, hmmm. Thank you mama.
I copied this down for Edie rather a while ago but it is still amazing.
- Building fairy houses
- Watching Daddy do his work so I can be a carpenter when I grow up
- Helping my mama plant gardens
- Doing my chart because I am so excited
- The most most most special one: I want a huge box of jewels! Six green and red and white and blue pairs of heart jewels and seven pairs of flower shaped jewels and sixty seven pearls and I- the most special pair of jewels that I could think of, mermaid shaped jewels and fairies. Sixty seven eight nine of them. And for my cousin, the most most special ones to me. Hard to say it, but I will do it. A person named Iris who is ten and a person named Edie who is five standing in the snow hugging. And huge jewels for my brother so he won’t eat them. And princess jewels. I’m going to capture a snake and I’m gonna make the snake get poisoned and get dead and I’ll glue on the heart jewels and I’ll make sure it’s not alive and I’ll take out the guts and hide it in the drawer by my bed.It’s covered with red white and blue jewels and when it’s next fourth of July I’ll bring it Poppy and he’ll really love it and he’ll say wow Wow Wow WOW! And he’ll fall down on his head and Mimee will be like wow Wow WOW! And she will bake my favorite kind of cookies, rainbow M&M cookies, and she’ll squeeze me so tight that I’ll lose my breath and fall down like Poppy.
We are real people
with actual things to do.
We are not merely waiting
Governed by the pull of stars
And hurtling our magnitude down invisible tracks,
Yet we ourselves drag moons.
Our moons, like yours, luminesce
And wrack our shores with aching tides.
Don’t break our wills
For without an ellipse our course is apocalypse.
Dark and cataclysm for wandering spheres
But if we stay the route of our own gravities
We can become pins of light,
Perhaps a Seat of life.
A highlight of every week is our field trip to the Museum: Rory goes with the Toddlers each Wednesday, and Edie goes with preschool on Thursday. We have the run of the place for the hour before it opens to the public.
Of course I am always there with Edie and my class, and I love seeing her run around with her besties. But when I can, I run up and meet Rory for Museum time during my break. He never sees me coming so I get to sneak up and watch him with his friends in their natural habitat.
Today I crawled up behind him. He had a wooden truck to drive over to the slide. It’s been weeks since I saw him without a vehicle in his hands, day or night. When he spotted me, he offered up a quick pucker and showed me his “La,” which is the closest we get to truck. But he was kind of in the middle of some thing… He hauled off up the stairs, thumping the truck on every riser, and a moment later it whizzed out our the slide and bounced off the rubber landing pad. I peered up the slide and there he was, face first and ready to launch. In a flash he barreled out and uncrumpled, chattering and bubbling. He tore off after another little guy and waved, calling out “Bye bye!” over his shoulder.
A big group of the kids from his class are moving up to the big toddlers room, replacing a group heading over for preschool. For a while he will be the big kid in the little room, but a few more months and he’ll join them and become the littlest big kid.
I still wonder sometimes about some of the kids I worked with in Seattle, now so long ago they are probably looking down the barrel of middle school. I walked them from the one year room to two, walked them all up and down the block, and then walked them up to the three year room. They would definitely not recognize me now, or remember my name. Soon enough I’ll be taking Rory over to his second big transition, then third, then fourth, and then who knows? But here we are today. Right here.
The weary mile from bed
Brings one’s blood a faster flow.
Then all the snaggled hair and jammies
Somehow fall out via friction
And we stand in the doorway of a bright basement
Blue and green with playfulness.
Our mouths fill with bananas.
Our hands fill with little cars.
We tumble outside for sunscreen and sand castles.
We poke and are poked
With real sticks
By real friends.
The Sun teases shadows across the red bricks
For as many minutes as possible.
The years are short,
But this one day;
It’s the longest day of all.
A couple weekends ago, we joined a team of volunteers at the Muse to put in the boxes for our vegetable garden and clear out an area that had been fenced off and grown over. I knew there weren’t a lot of kids coming but I think it’s healthy for the Huckleberries to feel a little ownership and responsibility. More importantly, gardening is our favorite!
Daddy brought the truck to help bring in fresh dirt. Rory brought the wheelbarrow.
Edie brought get shovel and she knows how to use it.
We had to rent a trailer to move a ton of dirt to school and then wheel it up to the garden site on the other side of the yard.
But there’s nothing wrong with wheel barrows.
It took a long time to get the garden boxes put together and moved up to the right place.
Now we have a beautiful garden spot and a play forest as well. As soon as the little kids get bored of digging in the dirt, it will be safe to plant seeds!