This is Bliss

Sunday mornings offer a moment’s respite from my normal routine and allow me the opportunity to indulge in a macchiato and a little writing. As much as I love my normal days, I love this time.

The weather has finally changed. The girls are enjoying going for walks again. Oriel immediately noticed that there are birds in the trees now. She stops what she is doing and says, “Did you hear that?” when she hears them singing. Macey is quick to spot every new sign of life. Every excursion outside is full of new discoveries. They are both old enough to play in the yard while I work in the garden so I am actually looking forward to devoting some time and energy into reclaiming some of that mess this year.

Lilly had her first official sleep over this week. The first night went so well, we ended up with a house guest for the whole weekend. We all enjoy having her around and Lilly really loves, and wants to share with her. She was raised in the unique situation where she was the baby until she was 5, and then in that year, her older siblings all moved away and she became the big sister she always wanted to be. She is a wonderful big sister (most of the time). In her heart, she wants good things for her siblings. When she is offered something, she always asks with her best manners if she can have one for her sisters as well. But, being the oldest, Lilly is always the boss. Her friend is a delightfully independent only child, having her around is teaching my daughters some lessons in diplomacy that our current power structure is not able to provide. She is a little shy, but I think that she enjoys the non-stop action of our home.

Yesterday they took turns pushing each other around the block in a stroller pretending to be babies. I was a little shocked at what the neighbors might think, but then I listened to the silly things they were saying floating over the garden fence where I was attempting to prune a half-dead bush. I heard the laughter erupting deep from their souls, filling the air with joy and suddenly I didn’t care anymore. They were happy, safe, and not hurting anyone. Children used to play and laugh on the sidewalks.

We took a walk into town to the ancient bakery, in hopes of procuring a fifty-cent bag of popcorn and cookies. It smells like old building, sweets, stale bread and nicotine oozing from the walls; a clinging reminder of the days when old men would meet for coffee and cigarettes. Drinking down cup after cup of the diluted common swill, hassling the new help and lighting up and dragging on fags; both literally and figuratively. Complaining about the state of everything and blaming it on everyone else, each of them stubbornly refusing to accept anything different than their own polluted reality. Most of these dinosaurs are gone now, but their essence remains trapped in the pores of the room, a faded yellow memory of jaundice perception.

Macey quickly spotted the only purple butterfly in a field of shiny yellow and pink flowers, and staked claim as her own. Although I do believe Oriel saw it first, I am unwilling to give her anything but the plain white bears because she doesn’t actually eat the cookie but licks the hard smooth icing, allowing it to dissolve on her tongue… And all over her face and clothes, which is no big deal until you add food coloring which is evil for all sorts of reasons. When the big girls realized they were not going to get the butterfly, they asked for doughnuts. A strawberry filled for Lilly and Bavarian cream for her friend. They were out of popcorn.

Our purchases in a waxy white bag, we climbed down the old creaky steps exit to the sunny sidewalk. We walk around the corner to find a shady stoop to sit on since the city hasn’t replaced the benches yet. Conversation and giggles punctuate the quiet Saturday afternoon as we enjoy our treats and each other’s company. While licking up the red jelly dripping through her fingers, Lilly says, “This doughnut is SO GOOD! It tastes just like strawberries.”

I look over at the girls in their stroller lovingly indulging in their pretty cookies. I ask, “How you like your cookies girls?”

Macey quickly answers, “Mine tastes like butterflies!”

To which we all erupt in a fit of laughter and repulsion, Macey’s eyes sparkle and she giggles knowing she made a great joke. Oriel swings her feet, excited by all the laughing and exclaims, “Delicious!”

This is bliss.