evening stroll by o&poecormier
evening stroll, a photo by o&poecormier on Flickr.

in the spring light i want to promise that we will pack ourselves up every evening and step out the door.

i want to promise that we will watch the tulips come up and the grass return to the park down the street and i will remember what it feels like to swing my arms as i skip down the sidewalk trying to miss the cracks.

i want to promise. i want to turn my face up to the promise as if it were the bright sun, strong enough to hold my trust.

there are a hundred reasons i shouldn’t, i know. there are taxes, and insurance, and cheques to write and playground mud to wash away and a dishwasher to unload. and papers and posts and plans, all waiting, barely tethered. they sit on me like stones. there are worry dolls crafted of anxieties and inadequacies and the collective foibles that shape the silhouette of this small family: the deeper burdens of our particular humanness. one child hates the transition of leaving the house. the other has no fear…a categorical danger anytime she’s not strapped down. their father cannot seem to learn to keep track of his wallet, his keys. i cannot seem to learn how to keep track of both my hands at once: when i clear the table of butter knives, i am a threat to all around me. we seem a motley crew, better suited to piratehood or a monastic life or an episode of Hoarders than this daily grind of rushing from the house to the car seats, bags all packed. to do it again in the evening? madness, i whisper at myself, and curl in again on my couch. the sun hurts your eyes, i console the whisperer.

but in the fading light of after-supper, when we are four together, just moving, i forget all that. i forget that the Emperor has no clothes, that the grownups aren’t coming, that we are it and probably insufficient to the job of these small, fine, vulnerable souls. i forget. for a minute we just are and the one who hated leaving the house begins to hop and skip and i feel the muscle memory in my bones and i twitch and know we will make it to spring, again, one more time.

and so i promise. even if i lie, i promise.