Sunday, August 8, 2010
For Posterity's Sake: Week in Review 81
Audrey ran across a tape measure this weekend (we have been doing some minor projects around the house). As she pulled the yellow tape the length of her brother and over shoes missing their mates, I found myself thinking upon the tools we use to measure our lives: humanity's scales. Easily, we measure in years: birthday cakes consumed. But, this weekend, I found myself the guest of a childhood friend's wedding: a boy from the neighborhood whose swing set and mother's cookies I knew well. As I spoke to his mother we talked not of years, but events shared - the neighborhood kids now grown, several wed. My weekend was also spent in the company of an "always friend": a woman I knew as just a girl whose friendship helped me grow into the woman I've become. We wore matching high school caps and gowns, celebrated as bridesmaids in each others' weddings just months apart, and seem to move our families as jobs require at the same frequent pace. And, while we never seem to live in the same place at the same time, during those moments we find ourselves together, it is as if we're back at our middle school lunch table. This weekend, as our girls - three sweet stair steps - chased each other through the house, we talked not of past events shared, but possible events to come.
Last week, I found another way to mark time, with a few laughs, courtesy of Audrey:
On Wednesday, while playing with Jason, Audrey said, "Let's play Noah's ark. Noah built an ark."
"He did?" Jason asked.
Audrey looked at Jason indignantly, "You know that!"
Wednesday evening, Audrey ran in from the backyard. She frantically explained that Ginger (the neighbor's dog and Audrey's self-proclaimed best friend) was in the pond nearby. Jason followed her outside where he coerced Ginger out of the pond and, after a quick game of chase, got her back inside her fence. Audrey came inside. She was out of breath and her eyes were wide. She threw her arms up in a touchdown stance. "Daddy saved Ginger!"
Sometimes, Audrey likes to pretend a ribbon is a river and jump over it. Sometimes, she uses objects other than ribbons - a doll, a sock. Thursday, she used her brother. When she refused my first request that she stop, I asked, "Audrey, do you like having a brother?"
"Yes," she said.
"Then stop so he doesn't get hurt."
Then, after a pause, "What if I don't like having a brother?"
After any kind of boo-boo, no matter how minor, Audrey begs for a band aid. Once given one, she refuses to take it off. Thursday, one such band aid had worked itself free to reveal a wrinkly white band around her finger. "It's bleached!" she said.
Our lives can be measured in many ways: years passed, treasures acquired, positions held or places visited on our way to somewhere else. But with little ones at our knees who (at least for now) warm our hearts with their trust and celebration of our small "heroics," we're measuring our life in smiles. And gratitude.