Sunday, January 3, 2016


"Momma," Myra says, "I love it so much that I began to smile at it," a sweater, algae green, for Myra.

"I actually started two of them for you," I say.

"I want the green one,"she says.

"They're BOTH green," I say.

"OH," she says. "Knit, momma, KNIT," she catches her breath and gathers her shoulders, a grin lolling across her face. "Were you gonna knit when you were done with your breakfast anyway?" she says.

"Yep," I say.

"Oh GOOD," she says. She clasps her hands below her chin, earnestness embodied. "Oh good."

"Mom," she says later, "did you know I actually CAN play Settlers of Catan?"

"What? How?" I say.

"Because I have been WATCHING,"she says.

"Oh," I say.

"A couple days ago, Jane and I were playing, and she had TWO points, and I had THREE," she squeaks. She squeezes me around the middle and buries a smile in my belly.

"Wow, good job," I say.

Watching. She's been watching. Passive observation takes flight. The summation of so many unnotable moments, the simple monotone of daily life, and suddenly skills unfurl.

The girl knows how. Quiet watching and the mind gestates. Suddenly there it is, newborn and unblinking: ideas, earnest as the morning, gaze back at us.

The womb gives birth, the mind the greatest womb of all.


5699. Pizza family dinner.

5700. Sledding and a bonfire in the snow.

5701. Frost everywhere, down the tips of every pine needle, the sky blue and crisp as ice.

5702. We ring in the new year counting down and shouting at zero: Happy New Year!

5703. Pinochle.

5704. The children collect coins memorizing each with a new magnifying glass.

5705. Joey totes around his own personal coin box in perfect mimic of the older kids.

5706. Jane and I start a project with tiny jars.

5707. I enjoy a new wooden bowl for my knitting projects.

5708. I try two new knitting stitches on each of the green sweaters.

5709. Craig and I secretly order new gloves for the kids. Now that they've suffered many weeks with mismatched leftovers, new gloves have real value.

5710. Lucy starts leafing through the books of sock people we have. She masters a knitting pattern by heart and then innovates with it. She learns to make things and then make more things.

5711. We prepare for another session of school. Work an old familiar companion waits to link arms with us. We grab on with both hands and prepare to make special bonds with each other.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you begin the new year. "Watching.... Passive observation takes flight. The summation of so many unnotable moments, the simple monotone of daily life, and suddenly skills unfurl." We are most often impatient, unwilling to just watch and learn and be satisfied to be on the sidelines until the right moment. I am thinking of David in the Bible.....lil shepherd boy deciding to figure out how to use a sling out in the fields with the sheep....