Archive for April, 2011

This evening Miles played in the bath, tossing toys against the wall and observing their falling patterns, avidly noting the splash each produced.  Toss, whack, plunk, splash.  I sat beside the tub, trailing my arm in the water, brimful of well-being.  Thinking, we have everything we need.What produced that magical and rare feeling?  Where does it come from?  It’s more than just the sense that bills will be paid on time, food will appear in the cupboards, and our roof will keep out the weather for another day — although those are wonderful things not to be taken for granted.  This feeling I had was more: it was utter life satiety, the sense that all is as it should be.  Of course, being fickle and human, I started thinking about how the happiness would pass and that I’d better capture it, figure it out, understand it.  I wanted to pinpoint where the feeling had come from so that I could replicate it and would NEVER EVER HAVE TO NOT FEEL THAT WAY AGAIN, for goodness sake! 

Our day had been a series of simple and mostly unplanned delights.  A risky waffle recipe that turned out beautifully.  An unexpected visit with the downstairs neighbors.  An effortless levity between Robin and me, in which each of us understood the other’s meaning without the need for explanations.  Miles taking licks of his Easter bunny’s ear and saying with great enthusiasm between bites, “Mmmm!”  The pleasant sourness of the vinegar in the Easter egg dye reminding me of childhood.  A spontaneous play date on the sidewalk with two sets of neighbors and their kids, toddlers running and jostling while the adults relaxed and bounced babies and made plans.  Let’s all get together again soon!  Let’s swap child care!  No one wearing coats, all of us thrumming with the optimism of Spring.  Miles so completely covered in sidewalk chalk he seemed to be a very short, cherubic rainbow.  After dinner, reading Miles books and burying my nose in the sweaty scent of his hair.  The three of us tickling and wrestling on the bedroom rug —  hugs, love, slobber, raspberries, laughter. 

Nothing major happened.  Yet there I was at the end of the day, sitting beside the bath, wonderstruck. 

This kind of happiness, I think, can’t be forced or summoned.  Sometimes the ingredients of ordinary life get jumbled together in just the right way, and I’m wildly grateful.

Sourdough whole grain waffles.
The sweet life.

Vinegar smell.


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Dapper Dude

Cub reporter.
Proof of happiness.

You come, too.

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At the laundromat a few weeks ago, Robin and I were  folding clothes while Miles lounged, miraculously content, in his stroller.  Finally, he started to fuss.

“Should I give him the liquid product of the bovine?” Robin asked seriously.

“I only brought water,” I answered. 

“Oh, okay,” she said, and handed Miles a toy instead.

You may recall that Miles was recently obsessed with brushing his teeth and that we took to referring to tooth brushing as “that thing” so that he would not beg to do “that thing” every time we mentioned that particular hygiene ritual in front of him.  Now we use complex, wordy euphemisms — like “liquid product of the bovine” to mean “milk,” for instance — for all sorts of everyday substances, objects and acts.  

At breakfast, we might speak in code about “that long yellow fruit that grows in bunches in the tropics.”  Feeding Luna, his newest obsession, we refer to alternately as “nourishing the feline”  or “providing sustenance to the feline.”  We refer to the Y, where Miles goes for open toddler gym time, as “the place of recreation with spherical objects.”  When one of us can’t figure out why Miles is hopping and squealing and pointing to the window, the other might ask, “Did he perceive the utterances of the neighbor’s canine?”  A garbage truck might be, “the vehicle that removes the refuse.”  You get the picture

We do this as much for ourselves as for him.  It’s fun to spontaneously construct these odd synonyms, and we joke that when Miles finally figures out what we’re talking about, he’ll have the best vocabulary in Brooklyn.  Other kids will know that C-A-T spells cat, but Miles will know that cats are called felines — or, alternately, “the evil mammal that lurks in our closet.”

Plus, we’re actually fooling him!  Or, we were.  This weekend, in front of our friend Lindsay, we were talking about “the long yellow fruit that grows in bunches in the tropics” and Miles looked at Lindsay and said politely, in case she wasn’t getting it, “Banana!”

Just try to fool me, ladies.

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A certain grandfather of a certain young boy pointed out that it has been 18 days since the last Miles and Moms post.  Ahem.  Here are some photos of a recent enchanting peek-a-boo session in the windowsill of Miles’ room.   Robin was covering Miles up with the curtain, asking “Where’s Miles?”  And he was popping out with a look of delight that — well, see for yourself.

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