I thought it would be pouring down rain this morning based on the local meteorologist’s report last night. I should have known better – how often are they correct!? I didn’t get to bed until midnight, too, and anymore, I need at least 7 hours of sleep to function properly. Those two facts combined led me to sleep in until 7:30 with Maria pressed against my back side, hand over my head and Mario pressed against my front side, his warm breath intertwining with mine. I could have laid there until noon.
But alas, work and school calls and we must eventually listen. I smothered them both with kisses and whispered “Do you want to know a secret?” They know my secrets by now so Maria said “Let me guess, you love us to the moon?” I laughed and said “No, I do love you to the moon but that’s not my secret.” Maria cocked her head to the side and said “I know. You think we are the cutest, sweetest kids.” That was my secret but I would not admit it. Maria looked at me funny and said “Oh, I really know now. You love us so much you could eat us for dinner!” I proceeded to nibble on both of their arms and they squirmed and giggled. Then, content with my feed, I took a shower.
Maria and I strolled to school because it was so pleasant outside. She talked about how her friends teased her about her name “Menkedick” and how two girlfriends always talked about being “BFFs” and she was not a part of it. I try so hard to reinforce the craziness of girlhood. How girls just form cliques without even thinking about it. How girls can be cruel to try to fit in with someone they think may be cool. How she needs to just learn to be self-sufficient and not care about what others think about her. It seems to be working in some way because she doesn’t come home crying and upset like she used to in Kindergarten. And I can sense an err of confidence when she heads to the school door and other girls don’t run up to her to say “hi.” She is ok with it and continues on her way. I like that she talks to me about these concerns and feelings. I hope it continues eight years from now.
When I arrived home from dropping off Maria, Mario watched me from the front window. I loved the sight of him but knew that it would not be pretty when I walked in the house. Jon would be aggravated at him for taking so long to get ready and leave the house. I have it easy with Maria – I drop her off at 8:20 and am done. Mario takes quite some time, especially if you try to be patient and let him get dressed at his own pace. So Jon has been getting into work at 9:30. I could sense his frustration, and like any good team, I agreed to take Mario into school so he could get to work at a decent hour. Mario begged to watch a show and I still had to get dressed in work clothes. I let him watch Dino Dan. He looked at me as I put it on and said “I thought you’d like Dino Dan, mom, because it’s not a killing show.” Lovely.
After Dino Dan, I turned off the tv and told him we were taking the bike to school. He did not have a major meltdown, which was the most wonderful gift he could have given to me. We hopped on the bike and headed toward the river. I asked him if he thought we would see “his bird” (a heron) and he opined on whether the river would be too high or it would be too cold this morning or whether his bird had already died. As he was discussing these thoughts with me, he quickly pointed to my right and yelled “look, mom!” I looked and did not see anything. “I just saw a red woodpecker in that tree!” “Really?” I exclaimed. He was sure of it. Definitely a red woodpecker. Pee-paw would be impressed, he thought.
We finally arrived at the river, which was high. I took a look down each bank and did not see any birds. I told Mario that the river must be too high for them and he sighed. But then again, out of nowhere he pointed to my left and yelled “My bird!” I stopped the bike and backtracked to the area confident that his bird was no where in sight. But, to my surprise, his bird stood on a giant grey rock, still as a palace guard. Mario and I stared in amazement at his poise. He must have heard a faint noise from us and without warning, shot off the rock into the air and onto the opposing bank. He made a screeching pre-historic scream when he shot off the rock, which caused Mario and I to turn to one another in further amazement. We remained silent as we headed up the trail to school. Finally Mario broke the silence by stating:
“The bird we saw mom, was a blue pterodactyl.” “Are you serious, Mario?” I replied. “Yes, mom, we saw a blue pterodactyl. I am sure of it. I saw a blue pterodactyl and a red woodpecker this morning. I can’t believe it.”
Heck, maybe he did see a red woodpecker.