We wake up slowly this morning, the hum of the air conditioner and the dehumidifier a constant reminder of the tropical climate. They are the new silent, the steady noise which blends into the background and becomes a part of these walls and this life.
Outside, the landscapers’ lawn mowers rattle across the sidewalks and through the landscaping mulch, sending a spray of pebbles and bark across the bottom third of the front door. I cringe a little, thinking of the helpless, newly-transplanted moss rose and marigolds in terracotta pots on the front stoop. The new pinwheel, whirring happily to the blast of mower exhaust, doesn’t mind. It just spins and blends the colors into a sphere anyway.
Aveline wants to see it all, and settles in by the second-story window to watch. It’s a Monday-morning routine, at least when the rain stays away long enough for the landscapers to trim and edge and cut and sweep.
Maybe later, we’ll spread out a towel on the narrow strip of sidewalk in front of the door, and sit side-by-side in the sun to “make ABCs” on the concrete, until our fingers and knees are covered in dusty blue and pink and yellow.
She wants to “make ABCs” with her pens and crayons and chalk, this one, not houses or trees or little boys and girls. She flips book pages and pretends to read, and screeches “TWO A’s!” whenever she spots a word which has, indeed, two letter A’s. She can’t pronounce her own name, but she can make a letter “T” from pretzel sticks, and she turns her felt number 2 upside-down to “make Z”.
I don’t know where she gets these crazy ideas. I know how it feels to love letters, though.
I love letters. I love the words you can make from them. I love that 26 characters can be scrambled and pushed into thousands and thousands of different orders to spell out love, or fear, or hope, or happiness.
May she grow up to spell out lots and lots and lots of hope.