She races down the stairs, breathless in her quest to tell her brother about an exciting connection. "You won't believe it, C. Did you know, did you know that Wose (Rose Wilder) had, had mah-nonia (pneumonia) just like YOU?"
I pick up one of my daughter's friends after kindergarten. She hops in the back, and they're barely buckled in before the stories begin. My brother this and my sister that. It's a holy, precious moment, far beyond the figurines, as I listen to their tiny R-less voices practicing the art of conversation, trading facts about where they were born and what they like to eat for lunch. "Well, my brother had Mrs. L. for third grade, but for fourth grade, he's going to have a teacher at our school in Alaska!"
We sit eating cilantro-infested bean burritos, and the girl announces there are nine days left of school. "You mean nine weeks?" I ask. "Yes! That's what I said. Nine weeks!"
It's hard to believe. Only nine weeks. And today, an email came saying something to the effect of "90 more days until your move." I'm never ready for the countdown to begin. I feel like I'm always on eight when everyone else is saying five. Four. Three. Two....
I'm in a hurry, but I linger in the aisles long enough to look at the expiration dates on the bagels, the milk, the sour cream. It needs to be fresh. It needs to last. I think back to when I was pregnant and I started to see expiration dates that were after my due date. I used to think about whether I would have a baby before we finished the last of the yogurt. Now I see the expiration dates and I think about packing. And goodbyes. And how my babies are 8 and 6 years old, born so many milk cartons ago. And how I'm never, ever ready for the countdown to begin.
Just writing today with my fave free-writer, the lovely Heather of the EO.