The girls were standing at the front window, ogling our innocent neighbor as he mowed the swath of land that borders the road across from our houses. He was hunched over the steering wheel, his jacket zipped tight, his white beard rustling a little in the brisk wind. If he’d caught sight of the two children acting like he was the most spectacular event that’d happened to them all day, well, I don’t know. My kids are easily entertained.
“Who wants to read a book with me before Quinn’s nap?” I said, walking out of the kitchen.
“Meee!” Two squeaky voices broke out in unison, and the girls spun away from the window to come racing into the living room. Saoirse made a beeline for the baskets that house the board books in the coffee table as Quinn came bounding around the table, arms raised high, looking at me with a grin that made it seem I was suddenly a white-haired novelty on a ride-on lawnmover. She clambored onto the couch.
“Happy, happy, happy,” she said.
I’m going to stop the story there, because that’s where my heart was all warm and mushy-like, and that’s where I was so happy in the moment I wanted to hold onto it forever. I’m not going to tell you how immediately after Quinn refused to let go of the book she wanted me to read, yanking it away from me so she could hold it hostage in her own lap, just to hold onto it. And I’m going to pretend that Saoirse didn’t actually get upset because she wanted to turn the pages of her book, but with such force she almost socked her kid sister in the eye, only to get so frustrated she ended up pushing at my legs with her feet until I sent her up to her room. And you don’t need to know that Quinn and I never got around to reading more than two pages of one book (‘Buuuuuhhhher-fllyyyyy!”, in case you were wondering what it was about) before she curled up in my lap, stuck her thumb in her mouth, and SK called from her room to see if she could come downstairs and play with Play-Doh “when Quinn is in her nap.” You don’t need to know any of that. Eh, neither do I. Because that’s the cruddy stuff that happens every day.
But two girls, with big smiles, and hands held high, happyhappyhappy over some reading time with their mom? Well, of course I’m going to tell you about that. Because that’s all I’m going to remember in twenty years anyway.