Monday, March 19, 2007


“Fix You.” The song, the words, the sound – first plaintive and simple, then soaring – all move me to tears. We can dare to believe this is true: salvation is possible.

Yes, I have stopped yelling and cursing, well, yesterday I was trying to call the financial lady and the girls are fighting at my feet in this tangle of an office/playroom, jammed with four little chairs and table, piles of toys and bodies. I scream “Stop It!” at them and then ask, tensely, “I need to make this phone call. Are you going to let Mommy make this phone call?” “No,” says Mia and I have to hang up the receiver, put away the papers, sit back down on the tiny chair at their tiny table and laugh.

Spring today. Birds, warmth, green smells, buds on the tree tips, the whole nine yards. We did it. We made it through. There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

In twilight at the end of February, there was a moment when the air outside turned blue. I thought at first it was a trick of my eye, accustomed to the gold of the incandescents inside. But even after I opened the back door to the late winter chill, stepped into the outside air, the color remained. It suffused the last thin layer of tired snow, crisp with ice, with a pale blue. Remember in Yentl when Barbra is studying the Torah and one of the questions asked from the text is What is twilight? Her answer: When all is black against the sky. That silhouetting will happen in a few moments. Now details in the fence, the trees, the garden, the garage are still visible. Through blue, blue, blue.

“Bear coming!” whispers Nora in a husky voice, intense and wide eyed.

She points to a picture of Martha Graham dancing, her torso a stamen emerging out of a vertical swirl of dress petals. “Lady,” she says. “Martha,” I reply. “Martha dancing.” “Moth-a,” she agrees. “Oh!”

“No! No sleepy time!”

“Where is Daddy . . . going?” she says, my little grammar genius, master of the verb form.

Her “I’m not sure,” is the sweetest answer we’ve ever heard, so superior to the more pedestrian, “I don’t know.” Our little pioneer!

“Mommy do it! Mommy dooooo it!”

When she calls from her crib, “Oh Mommy! Oooooooooh Maaaaammy!” It is so familiar. From the Mickey Mouse Club’s “Oh Toodles!” But from what else?

At the dinner table: “Nora! You need to ask ‘May I please be excused’ before you leave.”
“Peeky-coose? Peeky-coose?” We laugh. “Yes, Nora, you may be excused!”

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