It seems forever ago but I still remember my first memory like it was yesterday. When we still lived in Chicago my mom worked as a typesetter at a magazine and at a pharmecutical company. My dad on the other hand didn’t do much of anything. He never worked a day in his life. So my mom would bundle me up in the Winters and dress me down in the Summers. I spent most of my days with my MoMo. She was the neighborhood babysitter. The cheapest my mom could find and, yet, she was the best around.
Houses are built a bit differently in the Midwest as compared to the West. Back home you had a door that led you through the kitchen. The porch and patio was usually on the side or in the back of the house. I used to sit on the dirty stoop while MoMo made me breakfast. I wasn’t more than two years old at the time. I’d sweep up all the paperclips on the patio. I never figured out why there were so many. And as horrible as it sounds I’d sit there picking off the scabs on my scraped up knees. I would sit on the stoop, all alone, for it seems that I don’t remember any of the other children that must have been there, waiting for breakfast.
I never liked eggs. To this day I can only barely tolerate the rubbery texture. But MoMo was smart. She would put a little food coloring in my eggs. Surely I’d eat pink, baby blue and minty green eggs. And I did.
I don’t know why this memory is so near and dear to me. Analyzing it a little further is a little disturbing. And yet MoMo did all she could to make sure my little tummy was full and that I was happy. She succeeded.
And now I look on today. I don’t color Scout’s eggs. Mainly because she loves scrambled eggs or a Toad In The Hole. I don’t have to color coat things. She knows what things are and takes them as they are. Children are so smart. She sings her “Scooby Doo”, she jumps in the pool on three, she slips her feet in her Crocs, she tells you if she wants milk or juice, she asks me if daddy is at work or if daddy is in the car. She’s just so smart.
I wish that I could have that outlook on life. Never thinking of what meals to prepare for this weeks dinners, not writing out a check for the utility company because it’s that time again, not worrying about locking your doors at night, not staying up til 2 a.m. to wash out the oven. I thought I had a pretty simple life. A life where things will get done and where I don’t need an overly extensive “to do” list: go to the post office, wash the bed linens, clean the cat box, wash the dishes, thaw chicken, cut 10 lbs of apples, give the baby a bath, return the library books, return the DVD’s, make the bed, fold the laundry…
Sometimes all I want to do is sit. And think. Just inhale and exhale. I don’t want to be in a frenzy to get all done because tomorrow is another day and I’ll have the exact same things to do then, too. Sometimes I feel so rushed to get it all done. I want to be done. I want to sit on the couch and vegetate. I want to think up some stories to write on paper. I want to sew til my hearts content. I want to read all those books that I’ve yet to discover. I want to knit until I have knit years worth of cardigans and socks.
Simplicity isn’t so easy though is it?
And yet, it is.
The simplicity of garter stitch.
The simplicity of a Granny Smith apple.
The simplicity of a child learning shapes and colors.