Some days, you get up early and are energetic and smart and you hit the to-do list hard, and you make all your calls and do all your chores at a quick pace and you work hard outside and then inside and your eyes get tired but you skip the nap today because you are WONDERWOMAN and you are just sure that if you keep at it you will catch up with all the work that you didn’t get done last week or the one before that and you drink coffee and you time yourself with the stuff you don’t want to do to get through it and then, just when you feel your face sagging and your back hurting just a bit and you begin to wonder what life is really all about anyway . . . you hear your little boy’s voice from the doorway and he is very plaintive and my this sentence is long but that is, perhaps, part of the point.
“MOM. . . Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mmmmom . . .
“Mom . . . !”
“mOm!! Don’t you want to come watch me fly this kite? The wind is perfect for it. Not too strong. It’s nice outside. You shouldn’t be inside, Mom! Not on a day like this.”
“This is a day that is made for kites.”
And you stop. And you wonder: why am I working so doggone hard? And you stretch out the kinks and stand up and take a deep breath and he calls again. It’s not like my hair is on fire, after all. Then there would be good reasons for working very very fast and very very hard, at least.
“Mommmm! Are you coming??” His voice is at the back door now. He doesn’t know yet if he has persuaded you. He’ll wait there until he does. You follow him out.
“There you are. Finally. See? Remember this kite? The Speedy Eagle kite that you gave me for my birthday last year but I found it under your bed first and so it wasn’t a surprise?”
You remember. The cat had thrown up underneath your bed, and you had sent him under there to catch the cat, quickly, before she threw up again, and he had found the kite.
“What’s THIS? Mom? This long thing with the eagle head?” Ooops.
“The wind is perfect today, Mom. Not too weak. You’ll see, Mom. It’ll be worth it . . . see, you have to check the kite out first, inside and out.”
Gosh, he looks like his big brother.
“Then . . . hold it like this and wait for a gust of wind. . . I think I hear one now. . . “
“Are you watching, Mom?” He’s very in tune with you, being your lastborn, and he knows if your attention is wandering. Admit it. You were studying the nearby flower bed, and even toying with the idea of dropping to your knees and pulling a few weeds.
But he’s onto you. He dearly needs your eyes on him. Without interruption. Without wavering. Just steady-eyed devotion. That is what he needs from you right this moment.
“Don’t take your eyes off the kite, Mom! You’ll miss the Moment of Loft.”
The Moment of Loft?
“You know, Mom . . . that’s when the wind picks Speedy Eagle up, and it’s airborne . . . are you watching? Here it comes. Good . . . . “
Of course. You take a deep breath. You realize that you’re done working for the day. How easy was that?
“Here it goes! Just a bit more string . . . the wind is catching it now . . . LOFT, Mom! LOFT!”
“Whooooo! It’s going up! . . . are you watching, Mom??”
“Isn’t it perfect out here, Mom? Maybe we should eat supper outside tonight? Would you like a chair? There’s one right over there. I could get it for you. Once I bring this baby down, at least. We should send it up again, shouldn’t we?”
My little man. I’d live out here with you all summer, if somebody else would take care of all the inside things for me. Maybe we should just pitch a tent right here in the lawn, and make a little fire pit that we can cook on. You can shoot rabbits for dinner and we can pick dandelions and peppergrass for salads. We could fly the kite any time we feel like it. We could look at the stars for hours every night. How does that sound?
“Mom, you’re still watching, aren’t you?”
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