I haven’t told you much about my kids here, and if you don’t know me, this is your chance to meet one of them. Maritessa (pronounced like a combination of Marie and Tessa, with the emphasis on Tess) is my five year old. She is super sweet, super divafied, and super smart. She has this imagination that’s just crazy, and I love it when she makes observations about life. It’s like she’s a little blogger in the making.
For the time being, we live with my mom and dad while I lay out of work so I can go to school. That means there is a myriad of boxes in various corners of the house. And on shelves and in closets and on top of the entertainment center… Occasionally, I take a box down and look through it. Sometimes I need something, or I need to change out toys, or sometimes it’s purely to remind me that we do have “things” and even though they’re put away, they’re still ours and we’ll have ready access to them again. When I was packing to move here, I was working 65+ hours per week, and the packing became mostly a last minute thing. Rather than pack in an organized way, throwing away old things we don’t want or need, having like items with like items, I threw shit in whatever box was closest and didn’t really care if we still needed it or not.
Earlier today, I had one of the boxes of toys down and Tess was looking through it with me. She found beloved Barbies and babies and trucks for Tripp and Noah’s Magic 8 Ball. Mixed into the box was my favorite stapler that has followed me to every job I’ve had since I opened a restaurant when I was 19, a half-filled notebook, and an answering machine.
She turned the little white answering machine this way and that, pondering what it did. I didn’t offer an explanation because I enjoy letting her figure things out as well as she can. Finally she gave in and asked me what it was, and I told her its an answering machine. Just then, Tripp started climbing the shelves on the big old entertainment center. I turned away from her and walked the few steps to pry him off his indoor gym. I heard her whisper behind me, “Does my brother love me?” I turned, ready to reassure her how special she is to us all, and saw she had the machine pressed to her ear, listening intently for what answer the answering machine would give her.