Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lost Post: Summer Melody

Some posts are written, and put aside... forgotten.  
This is one of those.


I am standing at the counter in the kitchen, the blare of mid-afternoon lighting up the room so there is no need to switch on the lights.  I am slicing up strawberries that are needing to be eaten.  What a lucky food, to be needed in such a way.  Guy has taken the big boys bargain hunting for shoes.  Ellie is at a friend's house.

A few feet away Jonah, Tessa and Natalie are gathered at the table.  I have cut for them, Jonah and Tessa, each, giant wedges of watermelon, because I can.  Because when there is not enough money for new shoes and fancy electronics and big trips to exotic destinations, a giant slice of watermelon all-to-yourself when you are eight feels magically, over-the-top indulgent.

Something eases it's way into my ears.  It's silence.  Well, at first that's what my brain labels it to be; no one is fighting or tattleing.  No one is rambling on about Pokemon.  Nothing is being slammed, banged, clicked, thumped or klonked.  But there is a heavy, present something in the silence.  

Then, there it is. The deep, quick inhale as Jonah leans over his ruby wedge and takes a bite, and a bite, and a bite, with an expectant but very delayed exhale as he leans back, chin dripping.  There is a crunch and slurp as Tessa goes for a bite so big her cheeks can't help but be molded to the crescent arc, or to come away coated in juice.  Bite after bite, they move along like the caterpillars I have seen devouring my garden plants, and without a word to each other, they are in their own worlds; two little parallel universes.  

Their pursuit is almost a meditation, their reverence almost religious.  Tessa leans back in her chair and I hear the wood creak as she sighs, resting from her delicious work. Jonah looks out the window at his childhood, of course he doesn't know it. But that bright sidewalk outside and the sweet cold melon on his cheeks will burn deep into a place in his little mind and not surface for a few dozen years.   

They won't remember today, but they're sure to remember sweet watermelon in the summer.

I must have looked away, then.  
Because it's winter now, 
and the children aren't asking
 for watermelon anymore.


Photo courtesy of the amazing Annmarie Hall.

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