"It woooould be kind of nice to break the burden of candy," Jane says.
There at the kitchen table, I lean on an elbow. One child pounds piano scales; another sketches flowers; Joe brushes crumbles of brown sugar from tabletop to palm; Myra leans around his shoulder; but I stare directly at Jane. Those blue eyes, that white face, I just look right at her.
"What do you mean?" I say.
"Oh," she says, "like when you have candy, just thinking and thinking, I hope, I hope I get CANDY. I just want CANDY." She moves her head opposite each shoulder as if marking time. "And you think, Let's try to be nice to each other so we can have CANDY. Wait, you're making me mad: PUNCH." She pops an air-punch at an imaginary person.
"I know what you mean," I chuckle, candy, the siren allure.
"It's kind of nice to just share it and be done with it," she says. A pleasant smile, she's stilled her bobbing head. The whole world a tide around us, we smile, soft and happy into each other's eyes.
"Yeah, it is." I say. There like stones in a river, we part the water's of time, force it to move around us. I take in her face. She takes in mine, all the while searching for something. Someone pulls my elbow for attention, but I look just a moment longer. Tiny crinkles form at the corners of her eyes. Loyalty and affection weave a net around us.
5949. Shampoo, new shampoo!
5450. We trim Lucy's hair.
5451. A fresh mascara waiting in the wings.
5452. Dinner with Craig's parents.
5453. Hairpins, new ones that haven't swiveled-sideways.
5454. Mom brushes my hair out. Luxury.
5454. Jack and I plant cucumber plants together.
5455. We attend another gallery opening as a family. The children spot the elements of art in the work.
5456. I accidentally sleep in when Betsy wakes up late. An extra hour of sleep fuels me with inexplicable energy.
5457. "These pawns are actually powerful," Myra says as she holds a pawn up for us to see.
5458. "I see a move," she says. Sure enough. "Dada, can take you with his rook," she says to me.
5459. Jane learns how to run the espresso machine.
5460. Our small group starts summer barbecues.
5461. Lucy's contact falls out twice, and we rescue it both times.
5462. I mark the beginning of summertime fun by running through the sprinkler with the kids.
5463. As another week draws to a close, I find myself taking longer to enjoy the moments. A whole world of demands, but I find myself living deliberately.