I am wild with relief. Too many days of illness and rain and tantrums had made my house felt like a dirty matchbox, and my mind, a rabid monkey. Then the illness loosens its grip, the weather breaks and I'm breathless and giddy, bumbling through the park with two girlfriends and six of our kids, the new March sun like a benediction all around us.
Popcorn, strawberries, grapes, chips, guacamole, raspberry soda, and sandwiches on a blanket. There is plenty.
The toddlers run into all the open spaces. We watch to see just how far they will go, and then gather them when the distance makes our motherhearts lurch. My boy brings me a tiny blue flower, my baby flexes every muscle in brain and body to come up on all fours and fling himself forward. Soon he will crawl...how can this be? Just a moment ago he was blooming from my body, red and wet and wailing.
Just a moment ago I was this young. I have a picture--it must be late summer, my hair is babyblond, and I am perched on a bed of pineneedles in the Rockies, tiny fingers curled around a wildflower. I am still this baby.
My boy cries when its time to leave. Later, I am putting him to bed and I ask, "Did you have a nice time at the park today?" He nods.
"Worm?" he says. "Yes, we saw a worm, didn't we?"
"Yates? Soo-wee? Baby Yiy-wa? Baby Ginna? Gia? Pachey?" he says. "Yep, that's everybody. What else?"
Pause. And then wistfully, slowly--there is almost a sound of relief and reverence in his breathy voice--he says, "TREES..."