(Better late than never, right? We are a week-and-a-half past G’s birthday, but that doesn’t make him any less five.)
It is cold, and we are here—home from school on account of it.
Lucky G to be born on such a cold day, to celebrate with a day off from school. We had to take the interstate to the hospital, on account of the ice that day, though I would have preferred the winding county road I’d travelled monthly, then weekly, to my prenatal appointments. But on that day I sang along to Rosanne Cash, making my way through the contractions (an understatement if ever there was) and trying not to scream at John every time he drifted over the rumble strip or hit a rough patch on that damnable strip of I-70 that runs from Columbia to St. Louis.
We were all finding our way through the best we could. Jonah was maybe the luckiest, still three and happily playing with his favorite sitter. John brought books and read while I walked circles in the hospital room, wishing I hadn’t drawn the old-school nurse, feeling sorry for the teenage girl next door, trying not to slap the three “specialists” who, trying to find a vein, made my other pain bearable in that moment.
And now here he is, five and chatty and stubborn and so sweetly loving. He and me, we don’t always see eye to eye because we’re both set on the thing we want the other one to do, or not do, whatever the case may be. With his dad and brother he can sometimes make a better match—his stalwart, pressing ways meet their give-and-take fishiness well; his sweetness always wins the day.
G: “I will help you Jonah. I will learn you how to play.”
J: “I don’t want you to turn five.”
G: “It will be OK Jonah.”