Monday, August 13, 2012


it is possible to be flat broke in the bank and utterly filthy rich in the heart. i know this, because this is where i am today.

apparently, one of the stupid habits of poor people is to know exactly how much money we have at all times. another is to spend it before the new instalment gets in. i am guilty of both of these, frequently. today, however, i had the privilege of spending hours and hours, from a little after dawn to early evening, with a wonderful child. the child is mine, of course, and it probably helps that we had the weekend away from each other so i was really in the mindset of appreciating each second with her, but she is a great kid, and our day of wonderfulness dwarfed any debt i have.

i was walking from the kitchen to the front closet, glancing at the wall of bikes, stepping on the worn-out hardwood cracks that will never sweep clean, and all of a sudden, i was overwhelmed with happiness. it was like christmas or my birthday or somehow something wonderful had just burst into my consciousness, and i was shining. all the moments of the day had added up, and i was struck with wonder.

there was nothing overtly special about the day. we did the morning routine. we drove downtown to collect documents and then uptown to submit them. i may even have earned a raise this summer. we ran errands at bike shops for my lady friend. we got groceries, filled the pool, and went for a ride. she asked me, with her toothless lisp, if i was going to wear bike clothes for the ride. i could tell by the question and tone that my answer would dictate whether she would wear bike clothes for the ride. we had been planning this ride since this morning. i figured she really wanted occasion to wear her bike clothes. we agreed to wear bike clothes. we rode almost 20k. she ate a bar and finished two bottles. she rode singletrack and ruts and gravel and paved path. she lifted her bike, the heaviest one in the house, over obstacles and gaps and kept riding. she smiled the entire time. and so did i. i rarely come back from a ride sore in the face, but i had smiled so much and so intensely and for so long, that my mouth hurt from the exertion. that's what happens when you set out to just ride with the world's greatest 7 year old. we came home and changed and she ate an egg that i boiled for her and we picked up her sister and i made dinner. we vacuumed the car. we set the table. nothing special.

now the children are fast asleep, dreaming about magic wands and railing turns on their bikes, and i am dreaming, right here in my chair, amazed at the immediacy of things come true.

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