Wednesday, April 3, 2013
When the door opens in my house, Erin sweeps right out of it.
No matter where she is in the floor plan--the Green Room, the basement den, the lofty heights of her blue-carpeted room--Erin will be there when that front door opens.
Sometimes I just want to throw away the smelly diaper, alone, uninterrupted, without the sheep-herding actions of a mother and her runaway daughter. Just one time, let me open the door and go out into the fresh air alone, please.
Yesterday evening though Erin found me with my defenses down. I was tired from meetings and a mind popping with stress like a microwave popcorn bag. When I opened the door to retrieve something in the car, she escaped through my legs like the water over the falls, toddling out into the driveway.
In my weak resistance I decided to stay my defenses and I followed her. I followed her down the street. I followed her up the hill. I followed her under the broken-limb cherry tree (winter's ice was ruthless) and across the red-brick homes smelling of dinner and noise. I followed her gold moccasins going west again, in and out of the deep gutters begging for the spring run-off.
Erin walks hippy. Her hips bounce back and forth. I thought it was just phase of learning how to walk, "But maybe that's how she walks," I said to Chup the other day at the park. It's walking with flair, a little sass. And it helps to have those olive-colored wispy curls on the back of her neck. Gracious, I love this child.
Every now and again, she'd turn around to see if I was following. And I'd pretend to march like a stiff legged soldier because it would make her laugh and jog away from me. Hips out first, like honored guests.
When we passed the big fir tree on Briar Avenue, she started shuffling. Her legs had taken her as far as she could go. I picked her up and wiped her nose on the hem of her turquoise dress. She resumed the walk in my arms, acting as a tour guide, pointing out all the spots of interests like the blue bird in the bare magnolia tree and the rust-colored rose bushes, stiff and thorny on the corner.
Brandy the dog next door blinked at us from her pillow on the porch as we rounded home.
"Gog! Gog!" My tiny tour guide told me.
I kissed her wide-open, happy mouth.
Because what else could I do?