1. The guilt of a mother who accidentally smuggles in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for her daughter to eat at the miniature preschool table because they are late again, and the class is in chapel and your daughter is barefoot and won't eat and won't put on shoes and the only thing you can think is "Man, I really need some coffee and possibly a comb." And then you are caught with the peanut product in your hand in a No Peanut Zone and you are breaking all the rules this morning by accident. And you whisper to Cinderella, the class gerbil, "Where's the nearest bed in this joint because I'm going back to it."
2. And then you get to the Spur and all the biscuits and gravy are gone. NOOOOOO, you cry. Why? Why? Not today. Not like this. So you get some sort of breakfast burrito thing and you are grumpy. Yeah, you're grumpy, but it's her birthday, the woman at the register and she asks if you want salsa and yes, of course you do, thank you. And you tell her happy birthday. And then you sit down and the couple you've made friends with is still there and she has brought a quilt for you to see, and you are starting to feel better because people are good and they are talking to you, and you like talking to them and then you're laughing and the earth is your home again and the coffee here is the best gas station coffee you've ever had.
3. And you read poems and you stare out the window into the fields and you watch countless Chevy trucks passing. And it's good, too. And a call comes from a strong-mother-in-arms and she needs prayers for her daughter and we talk it over between the two of us and between God.
4. After preschool, it takes you two hours to pick up the toys around the house, pack the bag for Wednesday in York, load the trash and recycling, take out the compost and for a brief moment, you consider the nearest bed, and you make it and walk out the door with some keys in your hand and the wind is whipping you into better shape.
5. Maybe she'll wear calfgirl boots. So you go to the Western Edge and she finds pink glitter (cute as can be) boots and she runs around the store with Red, the world's best cowdog, chasing her with an old sock from the community sock basket in his mouth, a tail nub wiggling. And anytime we go there, he follows her because animals know her.
6. So you go see the chicks at Orschelyn's and you need a 50 pound bag of birdseed and some flower seeds and a new pair of work gloves. And you see your girl holding a chick for over 15 minutes telling everyone who passes by to please be quiet because that chick is so good in her hand sleeping and pooping there. And she asks me to please get out my phone and call Lynn as soon as we can so we can have some chickens. She cries when you have to go.
7. And then she warns you as you flip the birdseed bag around so the lady at the register can scan it: You don't get birds when you buy birdseed, Mom. You just get birdseed. What I want is a bird.
This girl knows too much about what a seed can and can't do.