The morning is quiet and cool. All around me, the neighborhood wakes like the happenings of a novel: a woman in slippers turns on the sprinkler, a dog barks in the distance, a runner’s footsteps can be heard. My coffee, hotter than the air, steams beside me. I sip and write, sip and write. An old habit reviving my soul.
There is a man at the home where my grandmother lives who types all day. My dad always wonders what he is typing and I do, too. Years from now, when the gray has reached my hair and wrinkles, like algae, creep down my hands and arms, will I still be writing too? What words will I find to share all those years down the road? When my eyes are bad will my children print the words of past and read the memories to me?
This weekend, June and Andrew played on the floor, side by side. She would pick up a toy and he would take it from her. So, she would pick up a new toy and he would take that from her as well. Over and over this happened until finally, by the end of the day, she just picked up toys to hand to him. It had become a sort of game for them and neither was upset about it. Crissy wanted to intervene, to tell him to share, but I held her back. If they were not unhappy, would should we be? All too soon we have this instinct to get involved in our children’s play. But I will not always be there for June, to fight her battles. And often times, I am learning, adults see battles where children see games. And so we encouraged them to “be sweet” and laughed at their game from our perch on the couch. At the end of the day, kindness always reigns. And as we readied to leave, June madly waving goodbye in my arms, Andrew ran after us yelling, “E ove ew”, a rendition of “I love you” that shattered my heart into a thousand tiny pieces right there by Crissy’s white front door. Moments like that are hard to forget.
The sprinkler turns in a circle around the front yard, reminding the grass to grow, please grow. I know that I have disrupted the path of the neighborhood cat, who likes to cut across the yard on her morning prowl, but I am sure that she will find another route. I watch her now from where I sit, her calico body frozen at the sight of me. Confused by the hose in her path and my presence in the yard, she turns around and leaves.
I finish my coffee and write these last few sentences. June should be awake by now, playing in her crib, waiting for me to gather her in my arms. I gather my empty coffee mug from the patio table and go inside. I am coming June.