Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The early morning is a tangle of interesting exchanges. The boy is in bed with you. He’s five, though, so the laws of physics dictate he won’t cuddle for long at this time of day. He’s in and out and in and out and back again. His pajamas are off, which means he’s cold, but not cold enough to bake under the covers like a hot-cross bun.

It’s Wednesday and he wants to watch something on the television before school. He is never allowed to do this, so the request is a bit strange. He argues with Mom for a while, but then loses the battle.

That settled, Mom instructs him to put on his robe. He can’t reach it though, as it’s hung from a hook in his closet. So, he asks his sister to help him. She resists and a whispered argument ensues. Perry, thrust, guard, perry, perry, and she gets the robe.

Still in bed, you’re asked: “How’d it go last night?”


She gets out, but you want to remain like a boy in a bubble. You realize, however, that this is Earth and in this particular home both Mom and Dad are on breakfast duty.

You contemplate what you will wear once you emerge from your cocoon. You know the air in the room is chill so you want to think this through before coming out from under the covers. Your two personalities, Serious and Comic, converse.

“Why don’t you wear the clothes you had on last night?”

“No. They’re stale.”



“Your wife’s robe?”

“That’s the ticket.”

Comedy Man wins the battle.

You wander into the bathroom and grab your wife’s robe. She’s sees you moving to put it on and then chuckles and shakes her head. Comedy Man has made his point with that bit, but doesn’t go away. He reaches into his closet, to a shelf he rarely uses: the topmost. There, a thick gray robe has been collecting dust and spider eggs. Comedy Man pulls it down with an assortment of other reject clothes and shakes it out. It has a hood and looks like the sort of robe a novice boxer would use. He dons the robe and becomes a prize-fighter.

He makes a show of this to his wife first. She rolls her eyes and exhales. He proceeds downstairs. The boy is in the kitchen already.

Comedy Man enters. Jab, hook, jab, jab. The boy’s eyes grow wild and wide. The Boxer is a hit.

The girl enters, she’s laughing hysterically but looking sideways at The Boxer as if to say, “I’m not so sure you’re all there, Dad.”

By the time breakfast is over and it’s time to walk the boy to school, Comedy Man has gone back to bed and Serious Dad awakens. You’re you again.

All day yesterday it rained, but the morning glistens with sunshine and frost is kissing the grass. The cool air cleans out your chest, mind and heart. The dirt path is squishy, so you weave to sectors that are less so.

All is normal. Nothing major happens on your walk this crisp morning, which is as it should be. Two dogs greet briefly; another barks lightly, scampering, attempting toughness. A few more cars pass the zebra crossing today, making you wait an extra 30 seconds before stepping onto the street, and during that time a song runs through your soul. You walk now, humming snippets, then murmuring a medley of music.

“He’s got the whole world in his hands…”

Your lips cease moving, but your throat continues singing. Then, a full chorus tumbles through your teeth:

“Your grace is enough/ your grace is enough/ your grace is enough for me…”

More humming. You change tunes. A different title but the same song:

“How great is our God/ how great is our God/ how great, how great is our God…”

Your eyes: level. Your pace: sure, but not rushed. Across the street, a small voice calls out:

“¡Hola, perrito!”

You turn and see a little Spanish girl, about 6 years old. Dark hair hanging out from under a knitted white stocking cap. It strikes you that she’s living in simplicity, merely taking note of life’s joys en route to school. Her list of earthly delights includes your dog, among other small pleasures. Her chestnut eyes, round and dark, lock with yours. She grins evenly, injecting your spirit with warmth.

This morning, Spain is God’s gift to you. Your house is in sight and you resume humming: “Your grace is enough.”

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