Do you understand what a wonderful thing that is?
We're deep in autumn here, and in the Northwest that means rain. And the winter is fast approaching and that means constant rain.
Tomorrow, for example, we're set to have a typical Northwest late autumn-early winter day; sunrise at 7:25, sunset at 5:30, overnight low, 42F, afternoon high, 46F.
It's a wonder that none of Lewis and Clark's GIs sucked the musket muzzle after 184 days of THAT shit. I've lived here twenty-one years and by February I'm twitchy and tend to make funny noises when I hear the gutters fill up. I can't imagine what it must have been like to experience our Black Months with no warning.
But it was sunny Sunday. Sunny, I say!The thing is, I've been working a LOT of long days; early mornings, late nights. This means that Mojo gets stuck with a lot of childcare. And as adorable as our little urchins are, they're also the sort of hard work that five and eight also are, and so when I can I like to try and give my bride some refit time. So Sunday I stuffed the kiddos into "Bob" the white Subaru and took them away.
We did All Things Kid; went to Chuck E. Cheese, went out for lunch at McDonalds
(or as our friend the Poet likes to call it, the Icky Clown House, which I consider pure genius and far above the sort of nickname that I recall from when my college chums and I thought we were being witty - "L'Arc dOr" and "Chez Ronald's" and that sort of thing)and then off to our local hobby store to look over Pokemon cards. We ended up in the Hollywood district of Portland so the Young Padawan could go to his jujitsu class, and that left just Little Miss and I to pass a couple of hours together.And so we did.
We sauntered across the street to the Whole Foods market where the Girl found a teeny shopping cart Just Her Size and proceeded to have a wonderful time pushing it about.These "Whole Foods" places - you may well have them, I think they're a national chain - have all sorts of oddities and quarks. We dove deeply into the Asian aisle for some of what Missy calls "seaweed" - the dried nori she snacks on - and into the juice aisle for fresh apple cider. We came across a "nice lady" who gave us some delicious plum jam (from Hood River to the east up the Gorge) on a vanilla cookie, so of course we had to find some of that jam and those cookies.
Lamb, and some craft beer, and a couple of apples later we were heading out the door but stopped at the little tea kiosk (a coffee bar would be too...mainstream...for Whole Foods in Portland) for some savory oolong. Taking our paper cups we crossed back over the street and found a tiny parklet between the main road and Peep's gym to sit and enjoy the warm sun and sip our teas."This tea is spicy!" Missy reported. "I like it, but the tea at dim sum is better. Because it comes from China, like me."
So I had to tell her the story about her adoption, and how we met her. And she told me about how she knew Chinese words. And we looked up at the blue, blue sky through the saffron-yellow leaves above us. And talked about clouds, and dinosaurs, and why some birds are fat.And as I held her dear weight over my heart I felt the weight of the knowledge that this little girl was only mine for a moment.
And that our artless talk and random time together would slip away like the heat leaving the cup in my hand.
And I wanted to stop time, just stop it, and sit there forever in the slow autumn sunlight with my little girl on my lap, and hear her funny little voice, and stroke the anthracite sheen of her hair and just love her until the stars burnt to cinder and the world ended.And then we finished our tea, and I tossed her up on my shoulders, and she rode above my head all the way down to pick her brother up and go home.