Henry set the table on the patio that evening with an assortment of placemats and mismatched napkins. I liked it that way…nothing matching…and little seashell napkin rings. The six of us crowded around that table, enjoying the grilled steaks, and shrimp cocktails, and corn on the cob and tomato-basil salad. And then we had rootbeer floats in those fancy soda fountain glasses.
I looked around at one point, and thought what a pretty story it was…the six of us, together, on the patio on Father’s Day. The sunshine was warm. There was a breeze ruffling the leaves in the trees. It was like one of those snapshots in your mind…how you think your life will be but rarely ever is. Peaceful. Happy. Pretty.
The Man and I put the kids in bed that night, and then sat on the front porch with a glass of wine. We watched the fireflies. We listened to the crickets. (We came inside when someone began blasting the crazy indian music.) ((Not that I have anything against crazy indian music, per se, but it doesn’t really go with the crickety-firefly kind of evening we were having.))
We went to bed feeling like the day had been a really good one. A really pretty one.
And then the barf started. (Do you see what I mean when I say it always comes back to the barf?)
It was the two year old this time. (Their aim with the barf is real bad.) ((Actually, they have no aim. It just bursts forth.)) So I cleaned her up, The Man changed her sheets and I rocked with her for a while, then put her back in her bed, where without delay, she barfed. Again.
So I bathed her while The Man changed her sheets again. And I rocked with her again.
We sat there in that rocking chair with the sour smell of barf still lingering in the room. Her soft ringlets fell on my neck as her head rested against my temple. I could feel her breath on my cheek and her tiny little body curl up into mine, just the way she had done when she was an infant. Me and Ella, there in the small hours of the night.
And right then, in the midst of all that ugly barf, I remembered how pretty my life is.
“our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain” — Rob Thomas