Friday, July 10, 2009

Afternoon delight

After days at the beach house, routines are a little skewed. The younger fell asleep for her nap and the elder played so long in the bubble bath, practicing the fine art of sand removal, that the younger awoke. So the elder declared: I don't really like sleeping when she's not sleeping. And she's not sleeping! So I'm not sleeping! And so it was said; and so it shall be.

We served the girls a fine lunch of sesame-ginger chicken, applesauce, black olives and raspberries. The elder declared the chicken too juicy and the daddy washed the cooked chicken of its delicious marinade, the juice he had so lovingly prepared for them the night before. The younger covered her fingertips in berries and then ate all her fingers off. The elder covered her fingertips in olives and tried to feed me her fingertips.

There had been a request for playground after lunch but the daddy said, "look how nicely they're playing in the other room together. Let's just leave them and see what happens." Play turned into epic play and minutes stretched past a half-hour and I grabbed my captivating novel, the one I never believed I'd get to read so much of this week, and curled up on the couch. (You all should go read this. Immediately.)

As is the privilege of a vacation Friday I fell asleep. And at some point some child asked for some TV time and because I was asleep, the daddy slipped something magical in that little silver slot. I half-awoke to find the elder child climbing up behind the curve of my legs. She draped her little arm over my belly and lay her beautiful head against my ribs. I became her body pillow and she, my comfy blanket.

I half-awoke again to a tap on my nose. The younger one yelled Mommy! and covered the space between my eyes in a drooly kiss. I kept my eyes open long enough to watch her dance around the coffee table, doing her one-of-a-kind indigenous juice-box dance -- that one where she marches with her feet, throws her head back to the heavens, tosses caution and her straw to the
windcarpet and pours the potent elixir straight through the broken-foil gateway and onto the back of her tongue, squealing an oooh! incantation. Whatever the snake whispered to Eve about apples, he surely whispered to this little girl as well.

I know this dance well but I watch it for a minute anyway. I reach up and curl a lock of the other's hair around my finger. And I close my eyes back up against the kiss of the beach-sky sunbeam.


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