If I hadn’t told my husband two nights ago, to give the butternut squash to the birds.
If I hadn’t listened to my hunger this morning and grabbed the yogurt from the fridge.
If I hadn’t wandered around the house looking for a warm place to sit.
If I hadn’t found this sunny spot on my chair, alone in my office.
If I hadn’t looked out the French doors that face the gathering spot for birds.
If I hadn’t heard the tik-tik of two cardinals chattering high up in my tree.
If I hadn’t noticed that one of the branches was bleeding ice behind them.
If I hadn’t run outside to take a closer look and recall what twenty degrees feels like.
If I hadn’t stood under the mid-morning winter sun to warm my eyelids.
If I hadn’t leaned down to notice the tiny scratches in the diamond flake snow.
If I hadn’t stopped to hear the cacophony of the bare tree branches swaying in the wind.
If I hadn’t walked away just then, and noticed the angle of sun.
I would have missed it all.
Our house is teeming with ponytail holders. Some days they are EVERYWHERE. Other days, I can’t find even one. They’re shifty creatures, those things.
And lately, M has taken to doing this to all of them:
These double loops clutter every nook and cranny of her room. She calls it her “neat trick”, one that is accomplished with some sleight of hand that starts with a ponytail holder on each wrist and ends in what might be the gateway to the notorious Rainbow Loom that I keep hearing about (but have thankfully been able to avoid).
But on this dreary day, where she’s (finally) back at school after a winter break that was protracted with two snow days at the end, I don’t mind stumbling upon the color it brings. It reminds me that she will be home in just a few more hours, likely making more.
This year, we purchased a new advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas. The one we had been using in the past few years was a total flop. This could be related to the fact that we forgot to fill it with treasures. Ahem. Maybe. But this one is foolproof because it already comes with all of the treasures waiting to be discovered. And M is in love with it. Each morning she comes down the stairs, the first place she goes is to the advent calendar to open the day’s door and reveal the animal inside. Perhaps not surprisingly, it turns out she has been assembling a little school of animals on the front porch.
Tonight, M decided to write a book. Actually, she started it in school today and finished it at home. She told me she wanted to write a book for her Kindergarten teacher “because no one else has yet”. She wrote it without any help. Although she doesn’t use so many words, I think it’s clear just how she feels about this important person in her life. One might even call it a love story. And sometimes, you just nail it on the first draft.
Last week, on a rainy afternoon, I felt like painting and adding some color to the dreary day. I wanted to try the salt technique I had recently read about.* M was definitely NOT interested in my suggestion. So, I went ahead without her. Once she saw the dynamic of color and water change with a mere sprinkle of such a basic element, she wanted to join in. How I missed this cool trick in six years of painting with M, I do not know. I found our stack of dried paintings this morning. I didn’t notice it last week, but she included some stars in her painting; stars that she only learned how to draw just days before. But the smiling girl? That’s always a constant in her art.
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