It’s my first time wearing sandals this year. They feel strange on my feet. The windows are down. Renegades is playing on the radio.
Running wild and running free / Two kids, you and me
I hear a chortle from the back seat, then the quick, energetic sound of crumpling paper. A laugh interrupts the calm, but this time noisier, happier. Lukas is holding a bank receipt. Paper excites him to no end: the joy of holding a smooth, creamy slip in his small hands. The freedom to crumple at will. The delightful sounds as the slip twists, turning into something new.
And I say / Hey, hey hey hey / Living like we’re renegades
The temperature has inched up twenty degrees today and we’re wrapped in a balmy, sun soaked sixty-one degrees. A bird chirps nearby. We can’t help but be exuberant.
Hey hey hey / hey hey hey
* * *
A clear glass bowl holds round red tomatoes; springy pieces of lettuce; croutons, dotted with herbs; thick, uneven wedges of spicy radishes. Tall, narrow wine glasses bubble with a heady, unorthodox combination of rose and sparkling spritzer. Breaded fish sizzles in the frying pan, emitting the occasional pop.
It’s Friday night and we’re spending it at home in bare feet, making dinner together. There’s a baby in the corner, eating his dinner in courses. When one course ends, something else is almost ready. Babies don’t understand the concept of courses, so he’s not always patient. But for now, he eats slowly, watching us bustle around the kitchen.
The chimes play their song. We watch neighbors walk down the road, some pushing baby strollers, others pulled by dogs. The sun promises at least six more hours of daylight.
* * *
I hold the coffee in one hand, push the unruly stroller with the other. It’s a delicate dance, one I am slowly perfecting with practice. The towheaded baby in front of me is alert, watching for people, children, dogs.
I spot a bunny to our left. He’s big. He springs from his hiding spot, long legs quickly taking him a few yards away. I imagine he’s Peter Rabbit, soft, velvety, with a milky white tummy, white tipped ears, and a warm gray brown back. Lukas is staring at something else. I wish I could bring him the bunny to pet, watch his eyes go wide in wonder.
* * *
These are the idyllic moments; the ones I wish I could grab ahold of and tuck away. Or better yet, print them off as images, to look at over and over again months, or maybe years, later. There is so much about being here that is hard, but then Lukas laughs. We take a walk. Or Drew and I prepare a meal. We spend time together. Life tastes like lemonade, the kind that makes my mouth pucker in a good way; sunshine warming bare feet; tiny, bright blades of new grass hiding among all the dusty brown.
And it's perfect.