Last week’s assignment in my Creative Writing Class was entitled “Love”. Write something on Love. I’m not really good with the flowery bullshit, so I just wrote a little vignette about our daily walks home from school. Surprisingly, I’m doing a lot more writing, but less posting here. I’ll try to get some more stuff up this week.
There is nothing more satisfying than to hold Lane’s hand as we walk home from school. The solidly plump, blonde, smiling two-year old has a solid grip, like his dad, but he is willing to reach for my hand in public. These are the quiet mommy moments that provide a surge of feelings with just this simple, small gesture. His hand fits solidly inside mine as we make our way up the two blocks from his preschool to our house.
He is dressed in a yellow polo and tan plaid shorts, an outfit he picked out by himself as a ‘big boy’. This obsession for fashion has been added to his repertoire of adult-like behaviors recently. Most of his clothing choices come with the accompanying two-year old sound effects. His green pirate shirt is never worn without the appropriate “aaarrrrr” and foot stomp that would make any buccaneer proud. But today we are just wearing some plain ‘ole regular clothes, with nary a woof, meow, or vroom-vroom to be found.
Lane’s sister, Matilda, and dad are twenty steps behind us. No matter how much of my husbands prodding, Matilda insists that she is too tired to walk that fast. “Mommy, you have to wait for MEEE” she says while motioning with palm upraised and channeling the attitude of every 3 and a half year old on the planet. The blonde pigtails and princess dress punctuate her movements and mannerisms.
We round the corner to our street. A car is approaching at the end of the block, and Lane screams “car, car!” as if it’s the first time he’s ever seen one. Then he tugs on my hand and says “Mommy, get in the grass.” This ritual is repeated with every car that he sees, whether or not it is headed in our direction. Matilda takes this action much more serious, demanding that no one is in the grass within 15 feet the street, and we all must tread halfway into every neighbors yard for each vehicle. Hand gestures get more intense each time I resist walking on my neighbors’ flowerbeds.
We pass the yellow and green 1950’s ear Florida rancher on the corner. Each day the owner sits in a lawn chair, in various states of shirtlessness, feeding random birds that land on his driveway. I never thought I would see a rotund pigeon and a bright green budgie dining from the same trough. I was wrong.
Matilda gains a burst of energy and surges past Lane and I, leaving dad behind in the dust. “I want to get a flower for Mommy.” Lane drops my hand and follows suit, running the stiff-legged two-year-old shuffle. They reach our house and turn down the pebble-lined circular driveway. The driveway is lengthy and overgrown with colorful flowers and vines that some would call beautiful, but as a homeowner you just call weeds. The kids pick their weed-flowers for me and each one insists I put it in my hair somehow. This is often easier said than done with dime-sized buds. I obliged the flower wearing, and we make the way to the front door to be met by our overweight feline, Tubby. The kids scramble to figure out who is first to the front door to be the designated door-opener, while the runner-up gets to honor of petting the cat. Matilda wins today, opening the door after I get mange to get my key in the lock. She looks inside the house, takes an audible gasp of air and declares, “I love it here.”