a ~ I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.


Saturday morning. Two boys are already ensconced in Wolf Quest on the Big Computer, and the other boy is still asleep in The Cave, which is good, because last night I thought his face was going to melt he was so tired. The husband snores away in the Big Bed. The White Dog and I are in the TV Room, where the TV is off.

Yes, I know, there are things to do. The bathrooms need a slightly more than precursory wipe down before my parents arrive, and the horses are hungry. I can feel Carly’s annoyance all the way from across the yard and through the front part of the house. She is a horse of powerful glare. The cats also need checking; they had their Operations this week and are recuperating in the mudroom. The cats are outdoors cats. The mudroom is an inside place. Things get messy.

The youngest boy just asked me to tie a cloth into a hobo parcel to hang on a stick. Except he didn’t use those words. He had no idea what a hobo was. I wonder, then, how he knew he wanted a bundle tied to a stick? Stick in this case being one side of a four-sided poster frame. Are hobo bundles one of those designs that people arrive at independently, like all those cultures with similar creation myths? Sky fights with Earth, creates monsters, chaos ensues, children live in their parents’ bodies way past the medically advised nine months…

Oh. Now it’s a metal detector. And he just told me a long story about Wallace and Gromit and how Gromit felt like no one wanted him around and so he left with a hobo pack on his shoulder and walked like this down the road and can I have a chocolate chip cookie? So, no, my boy wasn’t channeling the wisdom of the hobo pack design from collective consciousness. He saw it on TV.

I am not talented at remembering the big things, like holidays and birthdays and parties and band concerts. When I am wandering my stretch of beach wearing flannel pants and (hopefully) a comfortable top, when I am past the point of worrying whether flannel pants are appropriate public uniform, I will remember things like this: my kids spent three afternoons making boxes into science labs, homes, and steam rollers; every night on my way to bed I told my oldest to turn out his light and every night he’d moan because his book was just that good; the day I let a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old do whatever they wanted with a big box of Styrofoam peanuts; mornings like this when each of us is happily lost in his or her peaceful pursuit.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.


  1. Perfect. Just perfect. These are the moments, when I think ahead too far, that I know I’ll miss the most.

  2. Just when I think “How can she get any better than this perfect piece? ” you post this one! I so appreciate the glimpse you give into the everyday of your family, something we never get to see except for the brief weeks we get to spend up in NH.

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