on tuesday nights, javin & thalia go to art club. kieran tags along & leif sits in my lap as we hang out with other art parents & drink coffee. last night was our first night of the semester, & afterward the kids had a little valentine party with their art club friends, complete with homemade cards & boxes, little kids passing out fistfuls of heart cards & construction paper with bible verses on them or “i love you,” & pink heart cookies with pink sprinkles. valentine’s day.
on the way out, thalia’s friend lili gave her a tall, hot pink, duct tape hat, a la abraham lincoln. lili’s family, being more savvy than my own, had all made hats, for yesterday was abraham lincoln’s birthday. tall, fantastic hats constructed of duct tape & old cds for the brims. freaking brilliant.
which got us talking about abraham lincoln & president’s day when we got home & were trying to get the kids into bed. (which was most likely an attempt to avoid brushing their teeth, but whatever. we’re homeschoolers. it’s not like we have to get up in the morning. wink, wink.)
“oh, yeah! today was abraham lincoln’s birthday!” i said to thalia & the boys, as she sat toying with the hat, i remembering making hearts with president heads traced on them in third grade.
“& george washington’s birthday is next week. & president’s day is on monday,” i went on. i was really on a roll. what recall! what learning!
kieran, caught up in the excitement of a mention of a birthday, asked, “did he have a party?”
the next moment in our house, at 8:30 pm on a tuesday, absolutely glowed.
“no,” i said, smiling to myself, “abraham lincoln is dead.”
i have never seen a more pointed, movie-esque jaw drop in all my life.
i know i make resolutions all the time, but that moment? that’s where i want to live. that space between “party” & “dead” was so crammed with wonder it was visible: in kieran’s eyes, his face, his whole body radiating possibility. a [dead] president having a wild & crazy birthday party that a 3-year-old would love was absolutely possible. anything was.
isn’t that true of kids? especially really little ones? they don’t yet have adult-mind that regulates, that casts off dreams & visions as impossible, that frets & stresses. they have present, aware kid-mind. i want a little kid-mind back.
i want to imagine the impossible,
or at least be a little less aware of what isn’t possible.
turns out, i want to be a little more three years old.
thank you, abraham lincoln.