August 26, 2009
Today was one of those days that I thought I had a lot to accomplish and didn’t accomplish any of it. However, it was a beautiful sunny day and I spent it with my girls & my mom. And now, at the end of the day, that is all that seems to matter. Matea showed me her art work from Spanish class and told me about the “arbol”, “ardilla” and “luna” represented on the page of construction paper. She was wearing a summer dress that belonged on a tropical island, rather than an almost-autumn day in the Pacific Northwest. Her hair pulled up in a high pony tail and pink bow. Dahlia enchanted the coffee shop owners with whimsical smiles and by saying her name, “Daya”, in a soft, sweet whisper. I witnessed the joy, that only my mother can find in a tiny, free, cup of coffee, offered at her favorite “unique grocery store”.
After putting the girls down for naps, mom and I shared a pot of Yorkshire Gold tea, judging each sip, trying to decide if it is better than Tetley or PG. A simple lunch and pot of tea turns into a conversation that provokes laughter, tears and an overall feeling of gratitude for the life we have. A life that came about due to unfortunate events and rash decisions many years ago. I hear more about my Grandfather and wish for the gazillion’th time that I could have had the pleasure of meeting him.
Dahlia wakes up and wants to be held. She puts her head down on my shoulder, as if to tell me her nap wasn’t quite long enough. She is sad that Lita has to go. So am I. Eventually, we go upstairs to wake up Matea, who is on the verge of sleeping too long. I pull her shades open and she tells me that she had an “awful dream about mean cows” but that “Bubba dreamt of butterflies”. She rubs her eyes and gives me a little smile. I have an inspiration to let the girls paint outside in the driveway, so we dress in grubby clothes and pull out 2 art easels, paints and brushes. Matea becomes an intense artist, working diligently on her masterpiece. Dahlia paints on the easel for about 4 minutes and then proceeds to paint the driveway, her toy car and then her own face. She takes sidewalk chalk and dips it in the paint, then paints her sister with it. I hear Matea say, “you are a menace, child!” I wonder (sarcastically) where she got that expression from.
We come inside and have dinner and I am proud that they come in without a fuss, proud that they take off wet shoes without being asked, proud that they play quietly as I fix their dinner, proud that Matea ate all of her tofu stir-fry. Dahlia ate most of hers and then threw the rest on the floor. I watch them as they play in the bathtub together, remembering days of sharing a tub with my sister. For the third time today, I am sad that she lives so far away and that we don’t have the chance to see each other more often. I’m sad that our girls can’t play and paint and laugh together.
It’s a scramble to get them both in pajamas. Brett is out for the evening and I am trying to get them to bed early, as I think about the dinner I need to cook for myself, the dishes left undone, the sewing & packing I need to do and the ice cream I want to eat. My mind is calm again as I sing Dahlia a lullaby and she rests her head on my shoulder and snuggles her duck. My baby is getting so big, so fast. I read Matea 2 books, then she wants a story. Unsatisfied by the first story I tell her about a gorilla who had to eat squishy bananas at the zoo, I have to make up another one about Matea and Diego, rescuing a blue jay that is in need of a bath. She likes that story and asks me to rub her back and sing her a song. As I leave the room, I am thankful for 2 girls who have always been such good sleepers. Two girls who keep me grounded and remind me not to take things too seriously. I make myself dinner & do the dishes. I don’t get any of the other things done today, but somehow I feel extremely satisfied.