last night, i was reading a few encyclopedia brown cases to esmé. she is so enamored with bugs meany that it makes me nervous.
she started a question about something or other, and i answered her before she really even asked.
"how do you do that?" she wondered. "how do you know what i'm thinking before i think it?"
"part magic," i answered. "but mostly because i made you, and i know everything inside you."
so she looked off into nothing, blanked out her face, and tried to test me. "what am i thinking now?"
i fake-scowled and replied sternly, "i'm telling daddy."
she couldn't believe it. "how did you know i was thinking about fat lady bums?"
this went on for minutes and minutes and giggles galore and thoughts so naughty...well...they'd make bugs meany cringe. a little while later, she fell asleep on my lap before we cracked the case of the stomach puncher. and for the first time in my life since the girlies three, i felt a pang. an i'm-going-to-miss-this ache.
i've never looked back and missed. it's just not me. i tend to like the next a little more than the last. i love change so much, i'd marry her. and one more day with my girlies three is such a blinding gift that i rarely think about yesterday.
but there are moments when one of my three believes in me so hard and with so much faith - no matter what nonsense tale i'm spinning - that i already ache about the day that will end.
this morning, she asked grae if she knew that i could read their minds. i heard grae answer, "yeah."
"how does she do it?" esmé asked.
"she made us," explained grae. i could feel her shrug, like this was a fact that everyone should know. like this was the same as the result of nine times anything adds up to nine. "so she knows what's inside us."
this is probably silly and even i'm rolling my eyes, but do you know that i still half-believe that my mom and dad worked for santa claus? it's kind of possible if you're bad with dates and facts. also, that my mom knew the penny wish fairy personally, so - damn it - how rude would i be if i didn't make a wish on every lone penny i found?
i rarely believe in important things. that sounds strange to say, but i'm one of those people who see both sides depending on the moment. that might be a by-product of traveling and living far away for so long. or it could just be a quirk. i also like believing small, if that makes sense. it's more manageable to me. plus i am allergic to super-declarative people. i think most people who feel like they have a ton to say...shouldn't.
that sounds mean, doesn't it? i don't mean to be mean.
sometimes i feel guilty about all that. sometimes i like to practice having louder opinions. it rarely works, though, because i keep holding on to one or more pieces of magic and hope and what-if and maybe.
i guess i just like believing in things that require belief to live on.
there was a day last week when i was a shite mom. it happens. i was short-tempered and rude and mean. and all of a sudden out of the clear black night, i thought to myself that my sister, lin, would be really disappointed in me. you know that story; she was good and generous up until the minute she died. never petty, never complained...no matter how much pain.
a little while before she died, we went to an outdoor market together. we bought a big red bird cage for my mom, and she bought me this folk art piece that made me gasp. it plays that song...oh, i no longer know the real words. when it's wound, it pays a tune and i always sing "a time to remember...that day in september...la la la la...la la la la." anyway. i rarely wind it up. it makes me cry.
but in the middle of me acting like a total jerk to my girlies three, it started playing. and in strolled a grinning esmé.
"lin told me to play that song," she said simply and so matter-of-fact that it felt like a sucker punch.
i'm karey m. and i believe in angels.
photos from here, here, and here.