Life is whirling and zooming and yesterday I met Mr. Moon and now it's twenty-nine years later and there are kids and grandkids and how did this happen? I swear. I remember one karate class, one ballet class, one teacher conference, one outbreak of the hives, one night of story-reading, that's all, it's a blur, it's a whirl, it's a zoom down the highway did you see that cow? the purple phlox, the sign for Jesus, hamburgers, gas, ice, milk, beer?
Oh Lord. I feel old today.
The dining room table is getting a lot of use these days. Family dinners and breakfasts, too. I have to go to the grocery today to restock. I'm out of celery, carrots, milk, buttermilk, self-rising flour, lettuce, tomatoes. Everything.
A pink plastic flamingo hangs over the back of a chair in the kitchen. Last night Owen was riding him saying, "Yee-haw!" and that's where he parked the bird.There are clicky primary-colored plastic keys on the kitchen counter, a rolly toy in the corner of the bathroom, a tiny trike parked in the hallway. Gibson crawls everywhere now, I look up from the stove in the kitchen to see him come into the doorway and he sits up and grins at me like, "Hey! I made it!" and then he crawls over to me and climbs my legs and I reach down and pick him up and hold him to me, nuzzle him, give him a bite of something, anything, the boy does not care.
The other day I was asking Owen, "Do you like broccoli? Should I cook us some broccoli?" and he said, "No. I not grown-up yet." Almost sadly. Did I tell you this already? Memory. Mine is shot.
He also told me the other day that I should make chicken stew. I have no idea what he thinks chicken stew is but last night I made a version of it from my mind and he ate it with gusto. You do not have to be grown up to like chicken stew.
I used up the last of the buttermilk and self-rising flour and made dumplings and they had yogurt in them too and were light as tiny cloud-pillows, rising fat and warm and friendly in the steam. We ate the stew and dumplings in bowls with spoons along with the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, corn, green beans and also the simplest salad and it was good.
And then I finished the fruit cake.
Oh. The holidays. It's like every colored ribbon is being woven together all the time and there are tangles and knots and yet, there's a pattern, a beautiful thing is being made all the time, the dancing the laughing the eating the cooking the cleaning up the singing the joking the boy bites the baby the baby cries and then laughs the boys hides and is sorry and we all tell him it's okay, it's okay, you love your brother and oh, he does, he does and the brother loves him.
I don't really have anything to say. I am tired even after a good night's sleep and I have to go to the store and the boys are coming out this afternoon and the chickens need letting out and the plans for the day are being made and I look down at my sleeve and there's a smudge, a smear of dumpling dough and when did I last take a shower, change my clothes for real? Oh yes, yesterday. I did that yesterday. I will do it again today, speeding, zooming, whirling and the ribbon-cloth holds us to the planet so that we do not fly off and it covers us, it supports us, it prevents us from falling too far, it catches us in its silky light-shot tendrils of net, of lace, of knots and tangles, it snarls and smooths out, it lays across us like a sleeping baby's breath, it holds us in place as we gather, as we dance, as we crawl across the floor as we lift up our arms and other arms reach down and pull us up and we are nuzzled, we are kissed, we are fed.