All along the shoreline it was frozen. I’d never seen that before. Then again, I never lived so close to the water. I never had a chance to notice things like wow there are a lot of white caps today while on my way to the grocery store. (To think that this is all that you will know. Stories of troubled people often go back to the town they were raised in, I was born in a town with no running water, as if this justifies the shortcomings of their character. Heck, even your ol’ mom here can lay such a claim, I was born in Levittown, America’s first mass-produced suburb! Say what you will about your upbringing when you’re older–my mother wrote a blog about me!–but when it comes to the town you grew up in? Sorry, fat chance of a pity party here.)
Manhasset Bay looked like a glacier. It’s so cold out, that whole c-curve hugging Shore Road we sometimes walk along was a sheet of ice.
I looked twice, because it looked fake, like I was on a ride in Universal Studios and suddenly my tram had entered a white tunnel and any second a mechanical Abominable Snowman would jump out and say gaaaarr!
No Abominable Snowman, but there out on the ice was a cluster of ducks.
I thought of the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” and the story Idgie Threadgoode tells her friend Ruth when she’s dying–because it’s her favorite–the one about the ducks swimming in the lake. In Idgie’s story, the temperature drops so fast that the lake freezes with the ducks in it. They don’t die but fly up and take the whole lake with them. It ends with her saying, to this day, I hear that lake is somewhere over in Georgia…
…I told you had magic beds, babies.
I waved my arms and sang some gibberish, along the lines of Bippity Boppity Boo, and poof! Your beds are now in a magic corner of the room! Where everyone sleeps! And everyone is safe! And no one is scared. And everyone stays in their bed…
You guys clapped when you say them, yaaay…
I’ve been dolling out “magic mom beads” for good behavior, too. These little crystals that look like sea glass we clank into your respective bottles that look like they should contain witch’s potion but really I bought with some lady’s borrowed coupon at Michael’s.
I told you if you don’t cry when I turn off the lights at night, if you get into your beds, if you stay in your beads, you’ll each get two magic mom beads.
Hallelujah (if Hallelujah means, what the heck is going on??? Is this really working??), you listened.
Last night at eight p.m. you took my hand and walked yourselves into bed. Not your own, you both climbed into your brother’s, but still, I’ll take it. You pulled up the comforter, Baby Boy. Baby Girl, you hugged your brother liked a teddy bear and nestled your head onto his shoulder.
(I took a picture of the video baby monitor to prove it, a move when you’re older you could call creepy, endearing, whichever you choose.)
How many nights the past two weeks have been so tough getting you to sleep. I came to dread nighttime in anticipation of the crying, the battle, the weary of no sleep.
And just like that, poof, one heart-melting night thanks to your belief in magic erased it, a move that is magic in itself.
…So there I was driving, thinking about those ducks.
And I thought, imagine that. Imagine if they just took up and flew off right now with the whole of Manhasset Bay with it, like a giant popsicle…
And I have to give thanks for the wonder of it all. For hearts that believe. For minds that take us near or far, even somewhere over Georgia.