"Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings
were more thrilling than understanding could ever be."
Millie and I went out for ice cream on a whim tonight. We got out little cups and found a corner booth while Walter snoozed away next to us in the car seat. Isn't this nice? I thought. Maybe this is what we needed after the past few days (or weeks...or months...)
But I shifted in my seat and looked at my phone. She turned and glanced at the TV. I handed her napkins. She scooped more spoonfuls of ice cream into her mouth. It began to feel like some sort of awkward first date, and I didn't know why. I realized then that we talk so much about the day to day- where we're going, what we're doing, and you need to settle down before you wake your brother- that we are lacking in some of the relationship areas. It's something I think about with marriage, but for some reason, it had never occurred to me that it could happen with my kids, too.
So I looked at her and said, "Millie. Do you know what you're going to be when you grow up?"
"I'm going to be a fighter-fighter (firefighter)! Like Pa-pa. And I'm going to make a fire and wear a red shirt and wear red pants and a hat and I'm gonna have mittens so if I touch the fire it doesn't get ouchy on me and I'm going to see the smoke and the fire! And I'm going to be a mommy when I grow up."
"Oh yeah? Are you going to have a boy or a girl baby?"
She stirred her banana cream pie ice cream in a few little circles. "Um, I'm just gonna have both and I'm going to name him Walter!"
And I was so glad I had asked.