Saturday With My Daughter
My husband and I spent a long time childless. There were all sorts of reasons why – school, career, a house of our own. But a few years ago I started having this sensation when I was in my car that if I looked at just the right time I’d catch sight of a little girl in the back seat. I know it sounds strange, but these little glimpses led us to agree we were ready for children.
My daughter Hunter was born in December 2008. At 2 years old, she's mastering toddlerhood. She knows a lot of words and how to use them and is determined to do everything she can by herself.
A few months ago, we started a tradition of a mommy and daughter day. We began the morning at The Purple Cow for brunch. We were seated quickly and brought a highchair, a placemat and a cup of crayons. Hunter went to work coloring the sheet in front of her while I determined what breakfast would be. I asked her a few rudimentary questions. “Eggs?” “Eggs!” she answered. “Fruit?” “Bananas!” “Bacon?” “No, no, banana!” “Pancakes?” “Oooh.”
When our food came out, Hunter clapped while I cut her pancakes into reasonable portions. She stabbed at them with her fork and chewed them off the end, sometimes giggling when I’d plunk a piece of fruit on the plate in front of her. It was a game, trying to get each piece stuck on the fork. In between, I’d munch on my waffle, look at her -- this little girl in pigtails -- and just feel lucky.
After breakfast we went to Firefly Studio to make my husband Paul a handmade gift for Father's Day. When presented with the paintbrush, Hunter tried to put the paint in her mouth. Lots of laughter and a little demonstration later she got it, picking up a good glob of paint on her brush and dabbing it onto the mug. I’d turn it from time to time.
From there we went to Whole Foods to shop. Hunter loves the fruits and vegetables, and as we went along I kept up a constant dialogue with her, following her pointed finger toward an object and describing what it was to her. We sampled cookies and crackers and bread and dip and fruit. I picked up the essentials we needed and let her help me pick out the trail mix to go in her dad’s lunch. When we went through the checkout line, the cashier offered her fruit from a basket. She was thrilled to have another banana.
She laughed at a little dog on a leash outside the front door and yawned a little bit. Once we were home, she crawled up into my lap in front of the TV in the nice cool air-conditioned den and fell asleep.
Hunter’s still young, but her company is always a comfort to me. I'm looking forward to many, many simple Saturday adventures to come.