I left work early Monday afternoon to collect Ninja Boy from school. He cried frightfully when I left for work, screaming that we had only had so short a time together since I had returned from DC that he would not move an inch unless I accompanied him. To make it up to him that I had to leave him crying on the floor to go to the office I left work early in the afternoon and took him to the fruit market, one of his favorite destinations. We like to pick up and smell every type of fruit and vegetable, crush herbs between our fingers and discuss what we should mix to produce the best types of dinners. This is sacred time for us, planning delicious vegetarian dinners while practicing math using exotic fruits as counters.
He wanted to make potato parsnip soup, something we haven’t had in two months due to a dill shortage at our local market. We found all of the ingredients, which delighted him beyond measure (it turned out delicious, by the way). As I loaded him into the car, in the snow, a can of bug spray rolled out of the seat. Hurrying to get him inside and out of the cold, I chucked the can into the car and shut his door. I finished loading the food into the trunk, then reopened his door to buckle his car seat.
“Mom, I know why you keep bug spray in your car even though it is winter in Michigan!”
“Why, little one?”
“Because you never know when a mom like you is going to want to go on an adventure that involves something awesome, like mountains or blueberries or bugs, so you like to stay prepared. That is why you always have bug spray in your car.”
“Is that right, little one?”
“Yeah, mom. You don’t like to stop the adventure just ’cause a skeeto bites me.”
Being a mom to a four-year-old son is like having a circus mirror in your living room, except instead of elongating your torso it elongates your self-worth.