Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Now we are 'Six'


The notion that everyday life should be easy is such a crock of

... super chunky peanut butter.

Getting past the everyday is the challenge.

As I was driving to work today I thought about the people living a particular street I'll call "Anywhere, USA."

You might live on this street, or you may know someone who lives on this street.

It's not particularly fancy, but most of the houses on this tree-lined drive are well maintained and the yards are wide and lush.

Homeowners include retirees and single women, families with young children and families with teens and families whose children have recently flown the coop. Most people know their neighbors by sight, if not by name.

There's a family with an incessantly barky dog in the middle of the block, and one with the roaming cat a few houses down. There's the house on the end where the lawn is unlikely to be mowed and is therefore slowly being swallowed up by the overgrowth.

I blindly stare out of my car window at the stop sign at the end of the block, wondering how they do it.

Most mornings I manage to get the kids breakfast, bribe them into getting dressed in fresh clothes, brushing hair, washing faces, lunches packed, homework ready. But there's always something missing; a smudge of peanut butter, a snarl where the pillow rests.

The spring plantings - mostly lettuce in pots on the porch - have already been eaten by brave rabbits. The trappings of life with youngsters -- sports equipment, bikes, brightly colored toys -- piles up in the carport.

Everything in life accumulates in increments.

Some you keep on top of, some topple you.

This morning, when Ittybit got dressed for the Letter of the Day - "N" for number - she was sad. She wouldn't participate today. She has no clothes with numbers on them. Numbers are on sports jerseys, she believes, and those are for boys.

I'm sure my husband was more than a little perturbed when he heard the whirr of the sewing machine as he was trying to move the morning toward its daily appointments.

But when I handed her a sweatshirt with a number crudely cut from scrap fabric and awkwardly stitched to the front, he took a deeper breath.

Of course, Ittybit wanted to know why she wasn't consulted on the number selected. Six may have been her, but did it really need to define her?

Her father set her straight.

"One day you'll look back on this and you'll see how awesome 6 really was."


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