Wandering through wild thickets and fields, with Margaret in her little pinafore, perched at my hip, ankles grazing the long grasses, in the pursuit of wild raspberries, my bare legs ribboned by thorns and and bramble and burning, but for the warm, sweet juices of raspberries on the tip of my tongue, dripping between my lips, to my fingertips.
What a surprisingly good raspberry picker, she is, at one and half, if only any of the berries made into the bucket and not just into her mouth. My arms not long enough to lift her over the fence and plant her feet firmly on the other side, I’d let go with her still dangling a few inches from ground, and she’d stumble then dust herself off and applaud her own adventurism, without a single tear. Then I’d swing my leg over, then the other and fly down into a cloud of dust after her.
Singing one of those never-ending make-it-up-as-you-go-aong songs to the baby in the backseat, about everything seen through the windows as we drove down the road, and realizing I could only come up with so many verses about cornfields, which is mostly all that was passing by, I had to capitalize on the occasional house dotting the landscape, and began to sing about the eras of architectural styles.
Hey, she was clapping along, and anyway, this is the kid who brings me cookbooks, any books she can find really, and sits contentedly in my lap while I read recipes, (which gets a little tedious, mind you, but mostly I’m just satisfied I’ve managed to make her as obsessed with books as I am).