Ancient History

Follow Me?


These simple days

I sat down to eat lunch with Teddy, who at newly-four is brimming with observations and ideas.

“Let’s talk about chickens,” he suggested.

I nodded because I had just taken a bite of my one millionth hot dog and couldn’t scream yes.

“Some chickens are white. Some chickens are black. Some chickens are green.”

“Green?” I wondered.

“If they’re sick.”

“Oh, yes, of course.”

Teddy changed the subject to fish and their many colors. Then he saw a bird zip by the sliding glass door and pronounced it so funny. I missed it because I was facing the wrong way, but I believe him when he says something is funny. He’s an authority. Abruptly, he left but quickly returned wearing cowboy boots, two sizes too big, on the wrong feet.

“It’s beautiful outside!” he pointed.

I am always grateful and amazed when little ones notice beauty. I looked. It’s a brilliantly sunny day. Our backyard trees are swaying and stingily jettisoning leaves two or three at a time. “That’s what fall means,” he whispered. Just then, my mom called to check on Ollie, who isn’t feeling well. Teddy danced around me, asking to talk to her. After a few minutes of catching her up on his condition and other family news, I handed my phone to him and he strolled around with it, talking.

They have a tradition when they say goodbye. Teddy says, “Goodbye, crocodile!” and she’ll say “Goodbye, alligator!” and then he’ll think of another animal to call her. Today, it went on longer than usual with the back-and-forth goodbye census of an entire zoo. He was satisfied eventually and handed the phone back to me so I could say “Goodbye, mom!”

I put my phone down.

“Are crocodiles real?” he asked.


We could talk about them at lunch tomorrow. Sometimes, I catch myself delighting in my own life. It seems strange to say it that way, but I get to spend my days with small people who challenge me to consider the chickens, the leaves, the realness of crocodiles. Of course, there are days when they are loud, whiny, messy and I desperately miss adult conversation. But today, not so much.

teddy, chalking the patio

teddy, chalking the patio

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>