A Kiss on the Steps


Today was the first real warm day of spring. In the late afternoon the babies and I took a walk to the park. All the neighbors were out on their porches. (I still want to say “stoops”.) We said hello, met some new people, then headed to the playground.

When we got there B was asleep, but I got M out of the stroller and put her in one of the baby swings. She is in love with swings. She kept flashing her amazing, two-teeth grin, which transforms her entire face, then kicking her little legs. That kind of joy is contagious. Plus we were just wearing sweatshirts, the babies in sun hats in the warm evening sun.

When we got back to the house they’d switched, M was asleep and B was awake. I decided not to disturb M and just took B out and sat on the front steps with her. Though our side of the street was in shade, it was quite warm and I took off B’s hat, trying not to be distracted by the cradle cap situation, which I recently made worse by trying to treat. Across the street, a neighbor came out with a book and sat on her steps with a cup of wine. A handsome brown and white cat came by and meowed a few times. I said “meow,” too, and B got that intent look she gets when she’s learning something. But the cat quickly thought better of babies and disappeared into the alley between the houses.

I got the Sophie the giraffe toy from inside and handed it to Bean. She dropped it on the steps. I handed it back to her. She dropped it on the steps. I handed it back to her, she laughed and dropped it on the steps. I handed it back to her and she cackled with pure joy, knowing what would happen next. She dropped it on the steps. It actually made me kind of happy, too (I didn’t have to get up to retrieve the Sophie.)

As we were sitting there, D got home. All day, as I met new neighbors, I felt like I was seeing myself through other peoples’ eyes. I’ve been trying to make an effort not to look completely disheveled and frazzled. I’m trying to attract new friends, after all. Today I managed to put on a bit of makeup, but I still need a haircut, and I was wearing a saggy old sweater I’ve painted in. But somehow (I don’t know how this happened) this is what I look like now, sitting on the front step holding a baby when my husband got home. He bent down to say hi to B and she leaned forward and gave him a kiss.