Polly’s reading chapter books.
Araceli counters, well, “I’m only 2.”
They both continue to amaze me.
On the playground,
creating elaborate detail
no matter what we play.
It’s Sunday morning.
Araceli is going on and on
with an idea I can barely follow
until she calmly, assertively
“Auntie Al, I have to poop.”
Polly & I hang back
while Araceli heads to the BP with Jay
to take care of business.
We sit at the top of the slide and wait for them
and Polly teaches me a thing or two
As they return to the playground
Polly and I jump up and wave
and Araceli bounds back
in her little red pants
and new yellow tee
with cats on a trampoline
and we’re back to the storytelling.
It’s something else entirely.
and the girls are gone —
I’m listening to Jenny Lewis
and cooking brussels sprouts
and thinking about them.
We watched Mister Rogers
and Daniel the Striped Tiger sang
a song about how it’s very hard to wait.
Araceli wraps a cat toy in her blanket.
Polly puts her hand in mine.
I couldn’t love them more.
It’s the way Araceli woke me up on Saturday
by talking to me as if we were mid-conversation;
it’s the way she calls, “Peach!” to the cat
and is delighted when he eats the treats she throws down;
the way she put her stuffed cat Bubba
on the ground by my bed (“if Peaches sees Bubba
then he maybe won’t be scared
and he’ll get used to me,” she explained).
Meanwhile, Polly's engrossed in her third book of the weekend.
She’s stretched out in the chair,
the chair that’s mine that was my mom’s,
skinny brown legs crossed —
Not even fazed for one second
that I knew the main character was named Karen
Because I, too, used to drown out all the adults
and everything else around me
engrossed in a Baby-Sitters Little Sister book
on a Saturday afternoon.
When the girls are gone,
I consider how different my couch looks
without Pinky and B
George and Bubba
Araceli, Apolonia & Me.
Fred Rogers was right,
There are many ways to say I love you.