Friday, March 14, 2008

What's the significance of this day, you wonder? Andrew Jackson's birthday? Why, no, silly, that would be tomorrow. It's the Little Ditchman's birthday, of course! She's two, though she still says "One!" when you ask her. No concept of time, these kids. Mommy's got all sorts of things planned for the day: Easter egg hunt, petting zoo, all the buddies. Me, there are mounds of molded aluminum that need tending to.

The ten day forecast shows nine days with suns and one with a thunderhead and a lightning bolt blasting out of it. That would be the day we had planned for the little kid's party. (What? You mean we could have gone camping?!) It figures, poor Little Ditchman. I anticipate the day when she's in her pre-teens and arrives home from school, clothes torn and covered in mud or some such ordure, and she comes in sobbing. I'll sympathetically sit her down, hold her close, and explain... "You're a Ditchman, honey." There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. She'll paint her fingernails black and doors will slam.

But that's ten years from now! Today we have a vibrant two-year-old with as much to gain from the world has she has to lend it! Anticipating her birthday, she got up an hour early, excited about the prospects (or it may have been the DST.) She opened a few gifts and played with all of them at once. Like a forest squirrel, she never dropped a single one -which is funny when you consider the toys: plastic fruits and vegetables (for her Little Kitchen), a new duck-shaped ice-pack (can't have enough of those around here), and a towel. Somehow, she made it work. Such is the imagination of a two-year-old.

To say they grow like weeds is an understatement and an insult. The weeds you remove from the garden. The kids grow like you want the flowers to grow, and given the choice I prefer the kids to the flowers. Gardens often can thrive on neglect, whereas a family takes infinitely more patience and attention. No MiracleGro needed, as it's a miracle all in itself. A bit back I postured that life goes through all the seasons in succession, but if you have a family you get all the seasons at once. We're still in winter here in SoCal, with a rainy day on the horizon, and I may be headed toward the autumn of my life, but listening to her playing in the other room with that little singsong voice and happy dance, it's a bright, bloom-filled spring day.

A year ago:

This morning: