Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the summer of alice

In the way of a three-year-old, every day has been a possibility of wonder.  While others of us have been preoccupied with questions of future employment and a healthy baby and finances and what in Heaven's name we'll be eating for dinner when the cook feels like she's been peeled off the bottom of a shoe--- sweet Alice has been thinking about play, amassing more treasures for her treasure box (already full-to-the-brim), how many  hats she can jam on her head, the sandbox, and new ways to convince her mother that ice cream is an important food group.

I don't ever want to romanticize my life here in this space - there's plenty of that out there on the internets without me joining in, but it's hard not to dip the Alice stories in dreamy gauze.


The other day I was feeling so sick, and so tired--- which of course helped me to take the small step into Complete Self Loathing quite easily.  As I lay hopeless on the sofa, a thought struck me that not only was I a horrible housekeeper, a useless wife, and a terrible friend - I had FAILED in my motherly duty of Historian and hadn't taken any pictures of Alice all summer.  I tried to think of any single event or funny thing I'd caught on film and my mind went blank. 

Imagine my surprise when I checked the camera last night to find several snaps of Alice in Summer Glory.

Sometime in my mid-elementary school years, Winston was laid off.  I remember it being early summer, or nearly so.  And we had just started to remodel our house.  Suddenly Dad was home all the time, and wearing his grubby clothes, carrying a hammer and spending his days building a second story on our house.  It's strange what sticks in the memory, I think: how arbitrary our brain is when it chooses to keep one faded image over another.  But the truth is, I don't remember being scared or worried or the least bit fazed over dad's unemployment.  That summer, the summer of drill bits and two-by-fours - the sawdust in our hair and the smell of fresh-cut wood - was one of the best summers of my life.

I can't imagine that this summer will quite compare for Alice, in scope or depth - to that far-off clutch of months in my childhood, but I can hope that this was at least a sweet one for her.



Pickles and Dimes said...

I'm so behind on my reading, so first of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so happy and excited for you guys.

And I think that little kids remember the smallest moments the best: the time that someone took to teach them to play a game, or the first time they saw something they never saw before, or the time they got to have cookies as a special treat when they got to stay up late. Those types of things. Not the things that are bought with money, but with time.

Alicia said...

Next summer, you will have a lettle babbeh!!!!!!! Named Polly! Or, you know, this is kinda funny. Anneke's name if she had been a boy was supposed to be Pollock Walden. You are totally free to use it. To go with Polly.

There IS a lot of romanticizing lives on the internets. It really drives me bozonko. I have more to say about this, but it's possible one of the ones I want to say this about reads this space too.

Lastly, I want you to make me that red/white gingham shirt. In LARGE. kthxbye.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh there is such a fine line between focusing on - and celebrating - the good moments of our day and digitally romanticizing our lives to the point of absurdity.

You always seem to write from a sweet spot: truthful and lovely and wise while still aware of all the dark spots and hard moments. 'Tis a gift. :-)