X has some sweet deal for daycare but it's a different district; the kids in Manitou Springs don't start until next week. As we sat in my non-starting car this morning, me streaming my most gutter French, I saw the pained look on my kid's faces as they watched friends and neighbors riding bikes and skating and picking blades of grass into massive heaps and laying a carpet on the sidewalk. The world was passing them by. Rather than beat my dashboard silly, I unbuckled joyful cherubs from carseats and set them free. A new itinerary, tea parties beneath a weeping willow and puddles screaming for little feet, a small brown ocean as big as an imagination can hold.
When our daily thunderstorm rolls in we'll go to the dollar movies and see Over the Hedge, eat pancakes at IHOP. Then come back here and make a drawing with 40 pages of Daddy's 'to recycle' printer paper, lip-synch Sugarloaf's "Green-Eyed Lady," bake and eat brownies.
Besides, today is my Sunday. My day to be full-on what do we do next dad. There's time enough for eat your peas ("at least FIVE") and brush your teeth dad, I'll be with you in 30 seconds can't you see I'm trying to do something at the moment dad. Today we dig for worms and put them into flowerpots because pet worms deserve decent homes. And it is not a home if there is no heart.
If summer trumps school, hearts trump everything.
Speaking of hearts, my fickle one found this earlier and light up the shadowed side of my daddy heart:
What I Learn Weeding
A dandelion root can grow two feet long.
You don't forget unearthing one—shocking
as a donkey in an old French postcard.
But mostly, love, we pull their heads off
to achieve our shallow vision of a garden.
The root cleaves to the darkness,
the same dark that sets our hips to rocking,
to burrowing into the other's body
or slapping it away. Briefly a stillness,
a long waiting to rise. Respiration. Sleep.
Until, without nurturing, a green shoot,
a thumb raked lightly across a thigh
and we succumb to this buried fury, this fever
to reseed. Oh, subterranean marriage
of root and soil! Oh, saw-blade leaf
and sunburst of maddened flower!
Copyright © 2006 Kathleen Flenniken All rights reserved
from Famous Bison Books
Reprinted by Patriside® without permission but with tons o' love
-- See you in the funny papers.