I’m coming upstairs this morning from the laundry room when I hear a wee voice.
“These are my pets.” I didn’t hear them come in. But Abby’s in the kitchen with Lillee. She’s wearing a Hello Kitty shorts outfit with a purple shrug, sweet new shoes (“they’re flip-flops!”) and some orange sunglasses.
“Nama!” Arms wide open.
“Lillee!” Arms wide open.
“Grace is sleeping Lil. You want to surprise her and wake her up?”
“Yes! Grace, GRACE!” Lil shakes her, whacks her on the arm, then shrug-stomps away. “She won’t wake up.”
“Look. Try again. I think she’s funnin’ you. I think I saw her open her eyes.”
“I’m up,” says Grace.
“No you’re not, Sissy. Your feet aren’t on the floor!”
Then there’s giggling and tickling.
The phone rings. It’s my dad. And he doesn’t realize it’s his granddaughter and not me he’s talking to until she’s done, and I tell him, and he laughs long and loud.
“Come up,” he says. “Be here by noon.”
“That’s only two-and-a-half hours. How fast do you want me to drive?”
“Well, just drive to the airport and grab a helicopter. He can land in my backyard.”
“Well, just send a helicopter, and he can land in my backyard.”
I don’t remind him that I’ll be up later today to go to the air show and celebrate Father’s Day.
Then we hang up, and they leave.
And all is still. Silent.
The bell rope sways soft, the awning ruffles, the tree branches waltz in the breeze.
Listen as time peels away.
There’s the refrigerator’s hum. The call of a redwing and the coo of a dove. A car whooshes by, and a small plane growls overhead.
Shhh. I think I hear a whisper.
Listen to the sounds of life.
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