Sunday, December 24, 2006

Whiskey Tattoos

More snow on the ground and a tree across the driveway this morning when I crawled out of bed to say goodbye and Merry Humbug to Ben before he flew to Connecticut for X-mas. Back in bed to cuddle with the girls until they ask for food, then downstairs to get the fire built and up to a rip-roarin' 1200 degrees to take the edge off our winter palace. No bookstore due to fallen tree so I enjoy a warm relaxed day by the fire, get a few things done around the house that have been neglected (specifically not including the dishes), read Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman to Lyli and Scarleht, who listen attentively and talk about feeding the animals. I choke up near the end of the book, flashbacks from my own childhood elliciting a hint of tear. This is my newly found malady since becoming a parent, I get moist at the most sentimental romantic bullshit imaginable. Crap. Don't tell any prospective ladies...

They sit on the sofa, unaware of my eavesdropping. Lyli holds her flower hat (the kind with petals that stick up and out from her head in a semi-circle) and grips individual petals, chanting "wheech one? other one, other one, other one." Scarleht advises me all day long that the old circular light switch on the wall behind my desk doesn't work: "this light not work" (repeat about two hundred and twelve times). They ask to see a picture of me in my wallet (how'd they know there was one in there?) and when I show them my driver's license Lyli says: "Papa 'ook sad eena pishur."

Snap a few polaroids of the girls, Lyli and Scarleht look my way and pose and shout "Whiskey Tattoos!" Their mantra whenever a camera points their way these days and a phrase for which I beg no forgiveness or explanation. We talk about how snow is cold and why, eat meat-free, gluten-free hippie nuggets for lunch, snack on the okra and corn bread and catfish Ben cooked up the night before. The word catfish intrigues the girls and I bow out on the explanation front, just letting that one ride for awhile until I have the presence of mind to come up with some clever answer. In the meantime we discuss the intricate subtleties of fireplaces and woodstoves and the differences between the two. Scarleht then asks for two notes (little scraps of paper I take notes on) and they spend the next hour folding and crumpling and pretending to write on them. I suppose this comes from watching their Papa work at his desk throughout the day and it hits a soft spot.

I wrap the last of my stupid x-mas presents in a self-absorbed funk, take the edge off with a nice glass of planing mill red, 2004, from Seven Hills winery, and settle into a quiet introspection that revolves around the rest of the day and into evening. Nap on the sofa after ladies fall to sleep and then back up to work into the wee hours, my normal routine these scattered days when I barely have enough time to tell if I still have a heart ticking away within the confines of a chest which lost its treasure. What kind of pirate am I? A lone one.

1 comment:

idabet said...

So much of this blog hit home for me. the first part is that I find my daughters saying things everyday that although I have no idea where they got them and many don't like the fact that they say them I love that my daughters say things like "ick it wo the man." and "ing it itch"
and then there are the moments where I find myself wanting to cry when something they do reminds me of how important life is.
Well I loved this one is all I can say really.
I'll be stickin around this country until the end of march. And should be up around your area the end of February. I truly hope I get the chance to break bread with you again before I leave.
peace be with you.