It was a week ago that life was bearing down hard, and I was creating space to be present with and care for my family. Part of that looked like spending the after-dinner hour walking to the library with Little Mae.
Her older siblings had gone earlier, and I NEVER get to go! Mae’s reading skills have grown, and books hold new meaning now, as she hunkers down in her bed or on the couch and reads.
This is a milestone in our world. She now uses me just for fun or for the hard chapter books.
Exiting the house we were faced with a choice. Which direction? I left it to her, and she chose a curious route. I followed. As we walked down the sidewalk, a little voice piped up.
I KNOW this is the way to Klines, but I won’t ask for ice cream, because I KNOW you don’t have any money.
Aha. You are correct, Little Girl. No money.
We turned left at the next corner, heading more directly towards the library.
Our visit was uneventful. I helped her find favorite books and authors and a Boxcar Children CD set to listen to in her room. The stack grew. It was time to check out. Rounding the corner was a friend, and we exchanged pleasantries. Small town perks.
I paid the miraculously small fine on Little Mae’s library card, added two books for myself and a movie for the family, and checked out. She waited at the end of the counter by the door with her backpack.
Loading it up, we exited the building. A man sitting on one of the outside benches had watched us walk in together and commented on who was carrying the load now (me). We laughed. Little Mae chose a different route home.
Part of the journey home involved a secret passage. It’s what we call this hidden wooden walkway that cuts a corner, making the walk a bit shorter. You have to step up a foot or two from one level of parking lot in the back to the adjacent lot. We did this together.
We reached the sidewalk, and conversation resumed. This part caught me off guard.
I was surprised at how you were able to, you know, step up that high step. I mean because of, well, you know, how you are kind of getting . . . old?
Sharing a birthday with your youngest creates an acute awareness of just how old one is becoming!
Yes, I am getting older, but I can still step up that high step for now.
We met up with some neighbors heading home from their own walk and enjoyed conversation. They had just celebrated a birthday, which Mae and I will do soon, so the topic came up.
Yes. I share a birthday with my baby.
Unless there is a miracle, right? A little voice pipes right up and joins in. You know, like Abraham and Sarah? They were old.