The other night I came downstairs in the dark and thought, disoriented and half-asleep, that we were for dome reason being victimized in sone kind of sophisticated Mission Impossible-style attack. I thought a laser was cutting through the right skinny window. I looked more closely. It was just the lightbulb-bottom of a firefly as he patiently walked circles on the outside of the window. Kinda strange, I thought, until I saw a response flashing from the left skinny window. Was one serenading the other? Or commiserating about insomnia? Or lamenting their two-window divide, never realizing that they each were only about eight inches from a shared big sky? I left the kitchen, but the bug-butt conversation blinked on and on.
2. What's that? L asked as we drove, pointing to a cell tower. "Oh," I said, "that lets telephones talk to each other without any wires," as I thought about that inherent magic.
Simultaneously, the girls asked, what are wires?
3. The kids' puzzles live in a certain cabinet in the play area of the basement and among them is a wooden animal sounds puzzle that operates on a tiny hearing aid battery. When the pig image is assembled the puzzle will oink and when the cow image is assembled the puzzle will moo and when one of the other four animals is assembled, the puzzle will make those sounds, too.
When one leaves the basement, rounds the corner, climbs the first two stairs and turns the lights off, the animal puzzle will call out. Sometimes it moos but I find that it most often it gurgles the fish sound. The lightswitch and the puzzle are basement butterflies.
4. "I love you, sweet girl," I tell her while I brush her hair. I love you, too she says enthusiastically. Do you know how much? All the way to the last star!
I smile at her.
Mama, but how many stars are there?
"I don't know, love," I answer. "Nobody knows."