Meyer Family Musings
I’ve sent Astrid downstairs so I can finish a post I’ve been working on. She returns fifteen minutes later to show me a craft she made - a laptop out of paper.
“So, Mom,” she begins, “we play school at indoor recess.”
“Don’t you want a break from school at recess?” I ask.
She points to the paper screen. “Look Mom, do you like how I put Google on it?” (see photo above). “Also, Googly eyes.”
Sean enters the kitchen where I’m warming my backside against the oven while a steak broils. This is not atypical. I’m always cold and preparing for a meal. We’ve just returned from two hours of swimming at the Y. Two hours of cursory swim observation amidst furious scribbling in my notebook.
“You look down,” he says. “What do you need?” Face to face we’re nearly the same height.
“Food,” I say. Then, appraising him, “Did you know you have a mole on your cheek in the same spot where I have a broken blood vessel on mine?”
He glances at my cheek then peers over my shoulder into the small, rectangular mirror mounted above the range. “Hmph. I guess so.”
He’s remembering an anecdote I shared this morning, advice on writing from the book, “The Help” - write about what disturbs you particularly if it bothers no one else.
“You gonna write a blog about it?” he asks.
“Well, I’ve written about stupider things,” I say and smile.
Astrid is taking forever to get in pajamas after her shower. We’re supposed to be baking cookies together.
“Mom’s baking without you,” Sean threatens from the bottom of the stairs. If you don’t participate in the baking you don’t lick the bowl. She hurries downstairs.
“You have to have pants on to bake,” he says when she materializes.
“I’ve baked without pants before.”
We’re in the car on the way home from school pick-up: me, Gus and Astrid.
Gus: “Do I have the flu because I didn’t get the flu shot?”
Me: “You don’t have the flu. You just have a cold.”
Astrid: “I hate shots.”
Gus: “It’s better to feel the hurt for a minute than be sick for weeks. When we’re sick Dad won’t let us sit on the couch.”
Astrid: “I like the couch.”
Astrid is happily digging through my ‘special box’. I’m not an overly nostalgic person but I do have one small, shoe-box sized Rubbermaid bin full of family photos, sonogram pictures, old letters, etc. Astrid likes to go through them every once in a while. The last time we looked at them together I cried when I reread my grandma’s letters so she knows the box contains important things. Meanwhile I’m trying to write. She continues to interrupt me asking questions like ‘is this her in the sonogram picture’ and ‘who is this or that person’ in a photo. I’ve told her if she doesn’t leave me alone to write she won’t be baking cookies with me later. She continues to riffle through my things and ask questions which I ignore. After about five minutes of relative peace…
“You guys did a lot of fun things without me,” she says. As in, before she was born.
I grunt in reply or possibly don’t reply at all. My face is glued to the computer screen.
“Je-sus!” she bellows, in a tone I don’t associate with six year olds.
I turn from the computer to see she’s actually holding a wallet size illustration of Jesus she found in my box. She smiles and waves it at me.
Finally, we’re baking. Astrid’s caught a cold so I’ve made her wash her hands several times. She coughs, in her elbow crack like a good girl.
“Don’t cough on our cookies,” I instruct.
“I’m not,” she says. “I coughed toward the dog since he can’t get sick.” She pauses, deep in thought. “Well, they can get cancer and that sickness to do with cardboard.”
“What sickness to do with cardboard?”
“I don’t know,” she says. “Ingrid told me about it.” Ingrid is her big sister.
Ingrid comes downstairs to wait for a cookie.
“Ingrid, what’s the sickness dogs can get to do with cardboard?” I ask.
She looks perplexed.
“Wait,” Astrid says, her finger pointing high into the air as she’s just had an epiphany, “maybe it was foam!”
PS. Yes, we bake a lot. Astrid is a pro, a star of the blog and now an official contestant in the kids cookie baking contest at the Maple Festival.