The screen door slams again and I'm a flurry of black garbage bags and big blue bins and boxes. Out, out, out. It's our mantra and our rallying cry and it takes work and follow-through and focus to get this thing done. I'm making haste while that glorious sun shines and I'm loading the car to haul off that which will be recycled and that which will be donated and that which will be given away. And I'm filling up the garbage cans in the alley again.
She's playing on the back porch steps, oblivious to my work. Doing the work of childhood. A mess of tangled blondie curls falls to the middle of her back. Long gone are the perky ringlets that fringed the nape of her neck when she was little little. I'm dashing and dodging her when she crosses my flight path and she's drawing with sidewalk chalk.
I've made my last trip to the alley, and she says, "Mama, today is a good day for sitting."
I open my mouth to argue, to make a case for focusing on the task at hand, to remind her three year old self that Mama is busy, but she's patting the concrete step, showing me the space next to her, there in the sun.
And so I sit.
It is a good day for sitting.
I hold her like a baby, and she giggles.
When did her hair get so long? When did her eyes turn so brown? When did her little hands become so elegant, so very not babylike?
The sun feels good on our faces.
And sitting feels good.