I am sitting outside in a cotton sweater -- ! Snow still covers the yard -- icy, slushy snow, but the metallic smell of thaw is in the air, rising from the creek, seeping into the softening earth.
Maeve, almost 2 1/2, is finally talking! She fancies herself quite grown up, though it's still hard for the unpracticed ear to identify most words she says. She doesn't yet know the word "conversation," but daily tells me, talk more, Mama, to ensure our conversation won't end. There isn't a lot she expresses fluently at once, but she is trying, using all sorts of joiner words like "actually," "also," and "so." Our conversations often go like this:
Um.... Mama? Umm, soooo, Mama. Ack-y (actually) umm... Mama.
My bock! (block). Ah-so (also), Mama, ummm...
One thing she does quite a lot is interpret and assign feelings. More often than not, this has to do with her doll, Luckycia (named by Eden, age 3), whom Maeve calls Duckycia:
Duckycia not hhhhhoppy.
She's not happy?
Mah eh-bow huhts.
She's sad because your elbow hurts?
...(one minute later)...
Oh!! Duckcia hhhoppy!
Yesh! Mah eh-bow no huht!
This running commentary hits all of us. Often when she and I are driving somewhere, and I am lost in my thoughts about where we're going, what I have to get done, someone I want to talk to, a recent conversation -- something -- from the backseat I hear:
My Mama hhhhhoppy.
There is nothing to say to that voice, but yes. Yes, Maeve, you are right, I am happy.
And suddenly I realize that I am.