"Mom, is there ANY way that you can show me my ring tonight?" Jane says. I slip-slip-knit a stitch on my blanket then look up at her. Miscellaneous dinner dishes out, she's paused, the kitchen rag flopped over one hand.
"I don't know," I say. "We'll have to see." My feet elevated from the surgery, I watch her from a perch on the couch. She swallows, dips her chin, wraps disappointment in cheerfulness.
"I mean," she continues, "I could get the stuff out at the table and help you, and just do whatever. I just was wondering if there's ANY way."
"Hmmm," I say. I watch the journal of her face. "What made you so excited?" I say.
"Oh, I don't know. It just seems so fancy," she says. Fancy slides off her tongue with uncharacteristic ease. Flashes of unworn clothes pushed to the very back of the drawer, tights and cardigans strangely divorced from this newly formed fancy.
"I didn't know you cared about that," I say. "I mean I like that, but I didn't know you did."
"Hmm, how do I say it?" she says, "I used to see girls who just care about being fancy and are crazy about it. And I was like I would do anything to not be like that. I would rather just look like a bag than to be like that. But now I realize you can be fancy and not really be that way." Ribbons of ideas settle around us, new ideas. The feminine mind circles and settles.
"Huh. You're right," I say. "You're getting older. I like the way your mind works. I never really liked girls like that either. I just never was that way."
"I mean, I try not to despise it," she says.
"That's true," I say.
"Yeah, when Logan and I are talking and we talk about those girls we call them the kissy-girls," she says.
I nod, a grin around my shoulders, another language forming up between us with words like fancy and kissy-girls and not despising. "That's a pretty good name," I say.
"Yeah, oh, those are the kissy-girls, we say." She shrugs, "It's just a name."
Just a name. Words encircle us, reshape our horizons. Fancy. We compare them like agates on a beach, then scoop them up, smooth stones in our palm, smooth agates of ideas.
We take her ring out and look at it. It's an agate all its own.
5498. "No, no eggs," Craig says for the eighteenth time to Joe. "No. Eggs." Joe sighs. "But Dada, maybe we can make EGGS," he tries again. "Shhhhh," Craig says, "shhhhhh, shhh. What did I JUST say?!" Craig arches his brows. They both pause. "Shhhhhh?" Joe says. We notice symptoms that Joe is listening.
5499. Jane turns 11. Sweet girl. Craig and I go with her to get her ears pierced.
5500. I take note of her growing mind and treasure every minute.