We are sitting on the couch, the Girl and I, just the 2 of us. It is her one on one school time and I am trying to teach her blended consonants.
“Can you think of any words that start with gl?” I emphasize the consonants, rolling them over and over on my tongue.
“Um, glllll, glllll, GLID!”
“Yes, that does start with gl, but I’m not sure it’s really a word. Can you think of any real words that start with the sound?”
She is rolling around on the couch, butt in the air half the time, panties showing. From the next room the Boy is humming loudly the epic horn theme from Star Wars. The rain beats at the window behind us and the apple crisp scented candle flickers on the kitchen counter.
I breath slow, and bring her back to the task at hand, for the 30th time in the last five minutes.
“Let’s look at the sight words for today’s lesson. Do you know what this says.”
“The!” she yells triumphantly, a little too loud for indoors.
“And this?” I am writing on a tiny chalkboard and she leans against me peering at it.
We get through almost 5 words before the turkey butt intrudes.
“Puh, uh, t. Turkey butt!”
“No, put. Next one. You are almost finished, stay on task.” I am starting to get frustrated with her lack of focus. I have so little time to spend teaching her, I don’t want to waste it.
“N, aw, naw!”
“No, that actually says no. When you have a vowel at the end of a word it usually says it’s name.”
She interrupts to yell, “No, it says TURKEY BUTT.”
My lips are pursing. I sigh. This is not going well.
“Wait,” she grabs the chalkboard and goes back to the top where I have written “the”.
“It really says ‘The turkey just died.”
I laugh in spite of myself. Surprised by the giggle escaping through my lips. It’s just a reading lesson after all. She perhaps has the better goal in mind, that of having fun together. I hug her as we finish and send her off to copy them down: move to type before I forget, even though I have already, parts of this moment.
Little brings me a meal of Lego, carefully balanced on a school planner. “You have two hearts mommy, They are the bestest part.”
I pretend to eat it all, the “hearts”twice, as she grins proudly, and then go to find the Boy. It’s time for me to snuggle on the couch with him, this time to read Julius Ceasar, or a translation of Plutarch’s Lives, I will let him choose.
I will look for a chance to laugh again.
More on the list of daily blessings, extravagant gifts.
Dirt brownies served on toy dishes.
The Boy and Aaron throwing the football in the front yard.
A loved one’s courage and peace in the face of a cancer diagnosis.
Jellybean playing with his toes.
Aaron telling me a new idea as we drive home from church,
Iced tea, and a lawn chair in the backyard sun.
Surprised by grace at church.
A doll birthday party in the girls’ bedroom.
Aaron being a goof when I try to take a picture of him.
So much laughing as we gather to play a game together.
The Boy exulting over a win.
Red baby cheeks crisscrossed with nap lines.
Rain that forces a husband to stay home from work for a few extra hours.
How a looming separation makes every moment more precious.
Grandpa calling to ask how to maximize his viewing screen again on his computer.