Children don't tell time. Let's think about that for a moment. Daylight Savings? Meaningless to kids. Not that I minded the early waking today. It feels like Christmas morning. It feels like the dawn after a long dark night that began with the realization when Mia was six months old that my child would be growing up during wartime.
It's an emotional morning. The colors of the leaves and the sky and the light will break your heart. We turn on the TV just in time to see Senator Obama casting his vote with his wife and little girls. The Trib describes yesterday's funeral of Darnell Hudson Donerson, Jason Hudson and Julian King. Fantasia sang "Your Grace and Mercy."
The girls scream in agony over an unshared toy. While trying to jump into my arms, Mia lands on the hard plastic Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine and wails over her bruised foot. She turns clumsy when she's stressed, so my reprimanding or urging her to hurry turns the occasion into tripping, falling, bumping, crying, yes, she'd like the Boo Boo Bunny, yes, she needs it wrapped in a towel cause it's too cold, no, she doesn't want to sit in Mommy's lap right now. It's a lesson for me every time. I have to forget all about the time and Nora's ice skating lesson in ten minutes and the tights and my wallet I can't find which means I won't have the photo ID they need at the polls and Mr. Fraulein's loud vacuuming downstairs. And just sit with her and be amazed once again at the spherical tears that fall so fast from her eyes.
But Joanna Babysitter is here to help and she miraculously finds my wallet and gets the girls separated and at peace. To lighten my mood I put on flowered kneesocks, a short pleated skirt from a company called Skunkfunk and my favorite blue hoodie. I know I should dress my age, Tim Gunn, but you know those ladies in the purple and red hats? I'm just getting an early start.
Randy had a half hour wait at 6am; we walk in easily at 9. All week I've been having cousin fears to my husband's dread of jumping if he gets near the edge of a roof. I imagine my hand pressing the wrong lever while I watch in horror. But none to worry - the right names are the first on the list - Cynthia McKinney? Look at all these names - who knew? Some other time I'll tell you about my Aunt Susan's run.
Now all we have to do is wait.
Mia looks at her book while waiting for me to finish the ballot.