Last night I had to run to Walmart but had been putting it off all day. I finally loaded Eliot into the car and we did our shopping around 7:00. It was already dark outside.
When we got back to the house, I was trying to usher Eliot inside quickly because it was so cold. I can't abide the cold. Trying to get Eliot to do anything quickly is like being head cheerleader at a slug race. The boy is a master of dawdling, and has never been in a hurry to get anywhere thus far in his life. He likes to take the scenic route. If there is a puddle anywhere near the car, he must stomp in it before getting in the vehicle, even if we're already late. If there is a pile of snow, he will stop to kick it, no matter how many times I warn him not to get his shoes wet. In the spring, he will inevitably spy a stick that needs throwing or a bird that needs chasing before he can possibly climb into his car seat. It is usually a mere ten feet from our front door to the car door, but do not be fooled. That ten foot expanse is interminable.
So yesterday evening, as I am once again physically trying to persuade my son of the value of a good hustle, Eliot hangs back and tugs at my coat sleeve. "Wait, Mom! Wait! Wait!"
"Whaaaat, Eliot?" I moan in my come-on-already-child, isn't-it-your-bedtime-YET voice.
"Look at the stars," he breathes, head tilted skyward, one tiny mitten raised in the air, pointing (or pointing as well as anyone CAN point while wearing mittens, that is).
I take a step back and direct my frustrated attention upward.
"That's my favorite wishing star," Eliot says. He squeezes his eyes closed and chants, "Wish I may might have ALL the cars!"
And then he heads for the door, leaving me standing there in wonder.
"I think I did it wrong, Mom," he confides, as we're inside, shucking coats and hats, huddled together in the tiny square of entryway tile, performing the unbundle.
"Nah, Buddy," I say, tousling his hair (hair that looks and feels so much like my own), "I think you did it just right."