Back to School
Portrait in Sun Dress B&W
When I drag myself out of bed, she’s sitting in the living room, legs crossed, waiting. It’s a slow start for me today. I rarely sleep past 7am. It’s 8:30. I’ve showered and dressed myself, but I’m stumbling along half asleep. And, there she is. She looks annoyed.
– Dad, you’re supposed to get up early. Don’t you know how long I’ve been waiting for you?
– Daddy’s having a slow morning.
My head recalls the 2003 Pinot Noir. The giant portion of red meat. And the time spent late into evening playing on Facebook. None of that matters to the girl. This is how she operates. Par for the course. This week she was back to school a day after a nasty dose of chemo – all on her own volition.
– When are you going to make my omelet?
– What omelet?
– Daaaad? Did you forget?
She hands me an index card with a drawing she’s made. It has a scribble of a half circle. Next to it is a little circle. She explains that the half circle is her favorite omelet. The little circle, colored in red, is the ketchup. She likes ketchup with her eggs.
I manage to brew some coffee as we prep the kitchen together. She finds her favorite apron and dons it as we cook. The omelets turn out well. I’m surprised myself. I fry some sausage and pop a can of biscuits into the oven. I fix her some tea as she sets the table – replete with more jams than we could sample together.
The house is still. Jeanette and Luc are each burrowed into their respective beds. But Jordan and I are lively. I find myself percolating as she babbles on about dreams and future travels and snippets of dialog from movies I haven’t seen. If a scientist could find a way to tap the energy bubbling inside her I’m certain we’d solve the oil crisis. It doesn’t matter that I’m lagging this morning, she makes me want to run a lap and write a thesis. Everything about her rivets life to observation, hope to doubt. She wears me down with chatter, but lifts me up to purpose in the banter.