Previously on DWM: “Momma, can I read to you?”

September 3, 2009

Originally posted February 7, 2008. (Hey, I’m feeling nostalgic. So sue me.)

Alli stood at my left shoulder, resting her chin on the back of my chair to peek at whatever it was on my computer screen that held my attention. I could feel her there, fidgety and anxious, waiting as patiently as she knew how until I finished typing. Her warm breath tickled my neck, and I smiled to myself. I turned away from the computer (these days it is always the computer) to give her a smile, and that is when it happened. That is when I saw her.

Really saw her.

Of course you saw her, dipstick, you think to yourself. You were looking right at her. And you’d be right, of course, except for the “dipstick” part, because that is just plain rude. I looked at her. Of course I looked at her. But it was what I saw that startled me.

I’m not going to spout any hackneyed verbiage about seeing her “with new eyes” or “for the first time.” Nor will I wax allegorical about seeing beyond the outward appearance of those around us. Nope. It was simpler than that. I wasn’t seeing her anew; I was just… seeing her. Her sea green eyes, one magnified by a coke bottle lens, but both shining up at me, full of depth and warmth. The freckle on her chin. The wisps of unruly hair that danced around her hairline, escaped from the confines of her ponytail. The sweet little nose. The determined tilt of her chin, seemingly at odds with the amiable set of her lips. The almost palpable energy radiating from her body as her excitement and vitality threatened to spill over, to overwhelm me with, just… her, all of her, even as she struggled for composure.

She was so beautiful in that moment. Ethereal, yet so very real. I literally ached with the beauty of her. All of her. In that moment, she wasn’t just a spunky little mini-me with glasses and a propensity for chattering simply for chattering’s sake. I don’t know how else to say it. She was just… herself.

And it was breathtaking.

Alli shook my shoulder. “Mom? Momma?” She peered into my eyes, and a shadow of concern crossed her face.
Just a moment had gone by–seconds, really–but I felt both physically and emotionally exhausted, absolutely spent, as if I’d been traveling for weeks in some far off place and I was finally returning home. Trying to get my bearings.

I blinked a few times, fast, winking away any tears that dared to escape. I showed my tear ducts who’s boss, so to speak. “Yes, sweetie?” I finally answered.

“I love you.”

Now, I know for a fact that she had been about to ask me, “Can I read to you?” Because that is what she always asks when her homework is finished and she needs to read for twenty minutes for her reading log. But she changed the program.

“I love you, too,” I replied, then pulled her into my arms for a hug.

“I know,” she said simply. Then, “Momma?” she asked as she gently disentangled herself from my arms, arms which may or may not have been holding her a teensy bit too tightly.

“Hmm…?”

“Can I read to you?”

After a momentary glitch, we were back to our regularly scheduled program. All was well in the world.
But now, as I think back to that moment, I can’t help but wonder if Alli veered off-script because at that moment, that exact moment when she looked into my eyes… she saw me, too.

I Just Know Things. In My Mind.

September 2, 2009

Favorite new television show quote:

“I just know things. In my mind.”
Kat Stratford

Stated quite seriously in response to Cameron, drunk on a teen cliche– in other words, because he was too stupid to know the watermelon was spiked– after he asks an intoxicated Kat how she KNOWS her sister probably wishes she were making out with him RIGHT NOW.

First of all, spiked watermelon?! Who DOES that?! Tampering with the melon and whatnot?! I am so out of the loop.

And B, shut it! My kiddos MAKE me watch “10 Things I Hate About You”! Based on the movie of the same name! Which I may or may not have loved way back when! Because of Julia Stiles and her pouty expressions and slouchy overalls! And Heath Ledger and his singing in the bleachers! And their cuteness! And Larry Miller! Because he’s funny! Whatever! It’s a FAMILY thing! I watch the show with the FAMILY!

Also, the actress’s delivery was HI-larious. And Gregory Peck’s grandson, who plays the Heath Ledger role, looks and sounds eerily like his grandaddy, who’s old-timey babe-a-licious!

Wait. That probably isn’t the cool thing to say anymore. Freak! I am so out of the loop.