Portrait in position.
We heard the landscaping truck off-load outside. The guys on their riding mowers, they cut their lines in our neighbors' yard across the street first, then they take care of our next-door neighbors' grass, and they cut across their driveway and over our front yard. When they started, the girls climbed up on stools to be ready to watch for their appearance in the back.
They're wearing matching underpants. We bought E her first underpants just before she turned two. It's hard to find underpants that small, but I was motivated. She had begun wearing mine. Every pair of my unders that she found, she'd pull them on. She'd go in my drawer for unders. If I slipped a pair off in the bathroom as I got ready to shower, she'd find my dirty unders and pull them on. So we got E her own unders, and she wore them every day, right over her diapers and eventually right over her pull-ups, until the day came that she wore them for what they were and not a layering accessory.
Now L seeks out her sister's unders at every opportunity. I don't know if she pulled these from a pile of clean laundry or of dirty, but she looked at her sister's tushie and a knowing came over her face, a recognition. Next we saw her, the matching unders were across her diaper like a sash. Maybe it's almost time to get her her own. Time to go digging through the handmedowns bag.
In this moment when the girls stood on the kitchen stools, for L it was about the underpants, about being like her Big Sister, about dressing like she does, climbing up like she does. She sets her future by her sister's present. For E, she saw her future on the other side of the window.
With wonderment in her voice she mused quietly to nobody in particular:
When I grow up I'm going to be a grass cutter.