Signs of Life

It’s February. Y’all probably noticed, so there’s nothing new there. Except today (and yesterday and the day before) it feels like Spring. And that makes me hopeful. I see signs of growth and of life all around me. And the sun is getting up a little earlier and staying up a little later. And my need to hibernate is easing off just a little.

Because the weather is so beautiful, I decided to walk up to the school and pick Lily up after kindergarten. Apparently I wasn’t the only one feeling it, because there were fewer cars in the lot and more parents hanging out on foot than there has been in quite a while. And people were chatting and being friendly and I didn’t see a single person frowning. I did see a very cute toddler running around with his dad’s keys being super flirty and coming dangerously close to biffing it in the mud. Yet the sun was out, so his dad didn’t scold him. He just smiled and called him back and we laughed about how beautiful and carefree his son is.

Not as beautiful and carefree as my baby, Lily, of course. Because, parental prejudices aside, that kid is aces. Seriously, she’s in kindergarten and instead of having site words to learn to read(because she knew them all before she started kindergarten), she has spelling words. So they all get to learn to read them and she gets to learn to spell them instead. And because that’s not enough of a challenge, she is half-way through the first grade list at this point. And I guess that only really proves that she’s smart, but I’m proud of that so I like to tell people about it. Anyway…

Yesterday we went to the beach and Lily picked out a bright pink, lacey, floppy hat. She insists on wearing it backwards because she wants the bow in front and doesn’t care where the tags are relative to that. It doesn’t matter how many times we have told her the bow goes in the back. She does not believe us. This morning, she wore that hat to school. This afternoon, on the walk home from school, I carried her pretty pink and white coat, her pretty pink backpack, and wore her pretty pink floppy hat on my head, while she ran ahead and climbed on everything she could find and laughed like it was the best thing ever.

I love the way kids run, with their arms spread wide and their heads tilted back embracing life and the sun and just LOVING the fact that their feet move and it doesn’t matter that it sets their lungs on fire because it’s FUN. But you can’t run like that with a hat on your head, no matter how pretty and pink and floppy it is.

At recess, she fell and her pants, also pink, looked like she’d rolled through a mud bath. She probably did. An adult would whine and cry and do anything to be able to change rather than finish her day out in soiled pink pants, fabulous floppy hat aside. That is the joy of six. At six, you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, get the closest appropriate adult to offer sympathies and possibly boo-boo kisses, then you continue running. With your arms spread and your head back.

My wish for y’all today and every day? Remember to run.

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