She has dumped out all of the Uno cards and spread them across the rug in front of my chair. Now she sits in her little avocado-colored chair and kicks at the cards with her sock-feet.
I look over, say something about how I just cleaned up all the things, and she laughs and kicks some more. Toddlers are so easily self-amused and so tricky to wrangle or manage. Just like grown-ups.
She gets up then and starts to grab one or two cards at a time, looking at them closely. She carries them over to a small side table and lays them out, like there’s a system. She pulls four or five from the table and brings them back across the room, letting them fall to the floor with fluttering. They land where they started.
So much of the time I wonder what kind of plan is in that beautiful little head of hers. She appears to simply be going in circles and starting over lots of times. Just like me.
She walks away and bends over, tilting a bit too much like she might topple but then she catches herself with her little hand while simultaneously picking up daddy’s knitted winter hat. She puts it on and looks more girl-ish with it down over her forehead. Maybe because it gives a glimpse of what she’ll look like one day with bangs. For now she’s still baby-bald-ish up top and mullet-ish in back.
Some of the cards are getting bent as she steps on them going back and forth. I hardly ever get to just sit here and watch and watch. These last weeks have been so holiday busy, as life usually is. Today has been a day of slow quiet. Hibernation. We walk some circles around here and we bump and fuss, hunkering down and in. This little family; we build and cook and bake and argue and rest. We make a fire in the fireplace and we watch each other closely, walking around so intent on our little jobs, our individual missions that, when existing in this one small space, make one big passion. Mine.
Elsie is only sitting now. Bored with the cards, ready to move on, watching me, watching her. Her eyes light up with something mischievous, like she’s about to get in trouble due to having nothing else to do. I smile back and then she stands and throws herself at my legs and puts her head on my lap.
I am going to be a writer, and I’ll write about all of these little things and what they teach me because every moment, in this family and in this home, is speaking.