Saturday, July 16, 2005

Always a Bride

A few months ago, Lillie served as flower girl in her aunt’s wedding. (I was conspicuously not invited; despite my good relations with my ex’s sister, Lucy had blackballed me from the joyous occasion.)

Since then, wedding bells have been ringing in Lillie’s ears.

She recently arrayed her dolls and stuffed animals on a picnic blanket, each matched to a suitable partner. Kitty joined Rabbit, Barbie joined Woody, Bear joined Beary, among many couples, in a large circle.

In front of each couple, she placed an index card on which she had carefully enclosed the word “love” in a hand-drawn heart.

She went from pair to pair, conducting a mass wedding. Reverend Moon would have been impressed with her efficiency.

“Do you, Kitty, take Rabbit to be your lovely wedding husband? I do. Do you, Rabbit, take Kitty to be your lovely wedding wife? I do. You may kiss the bride.”

When the assembled menagerie was hitched one to the other, she sent them all on honeymoon by ignoring them until dinner.

The other day, she brought me a jar of dill pickles to open. As she took a pickle, she wet her hand in brine and sucked it clean.

She stuck her fingers back in the jar for more “pickle juice.”

“Lillie! Please don’t put your yucky fingers in the pickle jar!”

“I can’t help it,” she giggled. “I love pickles so much!” She bit into her pickle and ran off a few steps. She stopped in her tracks and looked back at me. “I know what you are going to say,” she grinned. “’If you love pickles so much, why don’t you marry them?’ Well, maybe I will!”

She walked back to the pickle jar. “Do you, pickle jar, take me to be your lovely wedding wife?” She nodded. “I do. And do I, Lillie, take you, pickle jar, to be my lovely wedding husband? I do. You may kiss the bride.”

She kissed the jar.

“I’m married to the pickle jar!” she giggled, racing off.

Later, she found me reading on the terrace.

“You know, when say ‘I do’ in a wedding, you are really saying ‘I do’ to fighting. And to kissing! You and Mom said ‘I do,’ and you fighted. Aunt Jill and Uncle Aaron said ‘I do,’ and they fighted. When we see them this summer, I am going to watch them. And if they fight, I will tell them they said ‘I do’ to fighting. And if they kiss, well, I am going to look in the other direction!”

I sat with my book lowered to my lap.

“Lillie, do you remember your mom and dad fighting often?”

“Okay, I am outta here!” She ran back inside.

She was in a mood for pithy observations, not extended conversation.

I went back to my book.

Heck. We had thought were doing a good job of hiding our fights.


Madeline Glass said...

This story made me laugh. Then I got a little sad. Then I really wanted a pickle. Good thing there's a whole jar in your fridge.

Wait--there are two!

WordWhiz said...

I agree with madeline. As a divorced parent, I've had these types of vague exchanges with my youngest. They drop and idea, then run...not wanting to discuss too deeply. Just enough to instill guilt. (Although I doubt that is their intent.)

I dropped by a while back and didn't have enough time to read through your posts. I bookmarked your site to come back, then promptly forgot about it until I came across the bookmark!! I'm going to link you on my blog so I don't forget to come back!

Jefferson said...

Be careful with those pickles, Madeline--I think one jar may be my son-in-law.

Welcome back, wordwhiz. It's true that the kids say these things and run off, not eager to pursue the throught further if it gets too close to the bone.

Other times, though, with kids this chatty, there are other opportunities to talk.

Trick is, you have to be ready when they are, right?

the Witch said...

Silly Jefferson, one cannot hide dischord from those under the same roof.

My real question is as a single working parent, how the hell did you find time to read???

fuck, I'm tired...