the weather outside

She is listening to the chimes clanging frantically over the back porch and watching the rain soak our picnic table.

I wonder what she thinks.

I know that when she has enough words to tell us – no matter how eagerly we listen – we will never know all the vividness of her very first impression of a very first storm.

Last night, when I was feeding her dinner, I sighed. I don’t know why. Because it looked like rain. Because Saturday was turning into Sunday and pretty soon it would be Monday again. Because of the dirty dishes in the sink.

One of those reasons people sigh for when they sigh for no reason.

I wouldn’t have noticed at all except that Alice did.

She thought it was hilarious. She tried for the next few minutes to copy it. She sucked in a big breath and let it out : “HA.”

She has sighed before, when she wasn’t thinking about it. A baby’s sigh is funny in its incongruity. Like, how could someone so tiny have room at all for world-weariness?

But a baby’s laugh is clarifying. It brings everything back into focus, and for as long as you hear it, how can you think of anything else?


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