The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

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Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

June 12, 2012

So I will not forget

Sometimes, randomly, in the middle of playing, he walks over to me and wraps his arms around my neck in a big hug.

When he hands a person something, he’ll sometimes nod his head emphatically, as if to say, “There. I gave it to you.” And he’ll often willingly and easily give a person something if he or she asks or gestures for it, open his mouth so I can pry a piece of paper out, etc. Somehow I suspect this obedience won’t last, but I’m certainly enjoying it now.

He loves it when I rub his ears, count his chubby toes, tickle his tummy.

He adores balls of all kinds and flaps his arms like an excited little bird when he plays with them.

He mimics people sneezing and coughing. When I flutter my eyelashes at him while we eat, he squints his in return.

If I sing “Dancin’ dancin’ dancin’,” he flaps his arms and swivels his waist.

When I tell him to hug a stuffed animal (in Korean, “ah-na”), he does so, then hands it to me to hug as well.

His favorite toy right now is a red metal Volkswagen Beetle. He loves pushing it along the floor and “vrooming” it over his body the way I taught him. (He remembers things I teach him.)

He can point to his head, tummy, ears, and nose. Two days ago he identified a photo of a ball. Yesterday he stacked six blocks. When I clapped and cheered, he began clapping for himself each time he added another block.

He absolutely abhors having sunscreen applied, having his face wiped, and getting out of the bathtub. Diaper changes often aren’t much fun either.

He brings me books to read. This fills me with no end of joy.

In the morning, when we’re waking up, I say “mm” and he says “mm” and we answer each other like that a few times.

When I tell him “no” (and pretty firmly, too) as he goes for the stove knob or dog’s water dish, or tries the flush the toilet for the third time, he just looks at me and smiles. Depending on what time of day it is, this is endearing or incredibly annoying.

He squawks when we enter any kind of tunnel or enclosed space, enjoying the echo.

When we water the outdoor plants, he picks up his little plastic watering can and follows us, pretending to do the same.

A friend brought us Korean jap chae noodles, and he devoured them with complete vigor and joy, noodles stuck to his cheeks, clasping the empty plastic bowl on his face at the end.

When I ask him if he wants to watch a Pororo video, he runs to the desk and stands in front of the computer bopping his head to the music he’s about to hear.

I don’t know why the fact that he drops things from his highchair annoys me so much, but it really, really does.

He smells like strawberries, even when he hasn’t been eating them.

When the toaster pops up, he puts his hand to his ear as if the phone rang. Good lord how he loves the concept of a phone. He’ll hold anything to his ear and ask “Meh?” as if he’s answering a call.

He loves staring up at a tree while its branches sway in the wind, running his fingers over the rough bark of the trunk. A squirrel or a beetle is mesmerizing. The garden hose is the most brilliant object ever invented by humankind.

This week, he suddenly began clapping more often—for music, for his favorite Korean cartoon, for himself.

How can I write about how his crinkly little smile lights up my heart in a way that doesn’t sound so trite? How will I ever learn to write about that?

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Blogger Christine said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. So many amazing developments happening right now.

11:07 AM  

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