Thursday, November 15, 2012


Today I submitted the the application for L to attend kindergarten next year. "Sharp as a tack," one of her teachers called her today.

She'll be five next month. She stood in the doorframe of our bedroom closet where I mark the kids' heights, practicing for her new tally mark next month. But where's my four-and-three-quarters mark? she asked.

"It doesn't work that way, love. You get one mark per year."

So she stood anyway, just to see. She's as tall as her sister's six year mark.

(If we ever move from this house I will take a crowbar to that door frame. That piece of molding comes with me.)

She brought me a gift last week from the playground. These are for you, Mama! I found these cactuses in the grass and I saved them for you! Cacti not being native, to my knowledge, to Maryland flora, I inspected them dutifully. When it was time to go I slipped my seed pods in my pocket.

A week later, they're still in my pocket. I don't know what they are but they were given in generosity. It seems poor form to discard them. I finally moved them today from my jacket to the ashtray of my car. In my late-model wagon, the ashtray is always open because the cigarette lighter is where I plug in my GPS. The would-be cacti peer up at me as I drive.

They're sharp and omnipresent, keeping a gentle eye on me. So it is with love sometimes.

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