After the service, she took me by the hand and led me outside. "I want to show you this dead bird, Mama, please, come with me," she said. OK, seeing a dead bird is not high on my list of things I ever want to do, but it was important to her. We walked over near some trees, and there it was. It wasn't sweetly dead or anything either; I think a cat or something had gotten to it. Lucy told me, "I just loved that dead bird. It was so beautiful. When I picked it up [aggggghhh! She picked it UP?!] it made me think of that book Manga and I read together, you know, 'The Dead Bird.' [by Margaret Wise Brown who also wrote, "Runaway Bunny" and "Goodnight Moon." "The Dead Bird" has also struck me as morbid, but my mom and Lucy have bonded over it; they love it, so who am I to tell them no?] I just felt so sad inside thinking of that beautiful dead bird. Its wings were so soft and pretty. It was just lovely."
I know the whole thing is yucky and a little weird, but at that moment I felt closer to that little girl than probably I ever have. I know exactly what that feels like--when the lines between literature and life become blurred, and what you read in a book is more real to you than anything else. Like Virginia Woolf says (something like this) "when the colors blur, and the daffodils are dancing with the taxicabs..." This is a little profound for a Monday morning, but I hope that the noise and chatter of everyone around her never intrudes on her consciousness so much that they drown out the whisper of a book in her soul. In other words, we read to know we're not alone, people, know what I'm sayin'?
In the afternoon, Darren set up his Father's Day present, and there was much rejoicing:
The little girls wanted to eat dinner inside, so I said sure, until a massive wind blew up and thunder rolled, so Elaine cried and wanted to go inside.
But they're looking forward to sleeping in the tent sometimes this summer, and Darren has even extracted a promise from me that I'll do it too.
After I got them both tucked into bed, Darren and I settled down to watch Masterpiece Mystery (hey, did anyone else watch?!) When I was little, I used to fall asleep on Sunday nights listening to Moret's "Rondeau," which was the theme music to Masterpiece Theatre. It's another surreal parenting moment to realize that now I'm the one downstairs watching while I have two little people upstairs who are supposed to be sleeping.
Emphasis on the "supposed to be." We were in the midst of watching Lewis when a little barefoot person in a pink fleece robe appeared. "Lucy sleepin' in her bed," she announced. "I get up." She sidled over to me and peered over the arm of the wingchair at the brownie I was eating. She looked at Lewis. "I watch with you!" she said. Now, aside from having a daughter love a book so much that she picked up a chewed up old dead bird, few things would thrill me more than having at least one of my girls be my Mystery-watching buddy. But...common sense prevailed, and Darren carted her back to bed (crying all the way).
I was sad though. As Lucy says, "Mystery loves company!"