She flew into the driveway, aiming for her spot, wreckless, and not at all caring if someone else might be parked there. It belonged to her, of course. That gravely, patchy grassed, dusty piece of drive way. She irrrrrkkkkked the brakes just shy of slamming down the pink park benches, threw open the crinkled driver’s door and screamed…… “I’m home!” I looked out the kitchen window in time to see her fanny and feet only, the rest of her lunged face first into the back seat, her tiny hands flipping Samsonite and garbage bags blindly out behind her! Thunk! Plunk! “Oh, this is just junk!” Make-up bag hurled over her shoulder. “Mom! I’m home” she screams a little louder, with her “Are we losing this damn game?” cheerleading voice. “I’m right here, baby girl, you just clobbered me with a ghetto blaster”…..
We hugged and
It all up the drive-way.
Home for the summer.
Giant Tupperware tins with leftovers and graduation gifts line my hallway. “Why do you keep hauling this stuff back and forth?” I asked her with my best garage sale smile on. “It’s sentimental, Mom” “…‘kay” I mutter, the one who taught her memories are priceless.
An hour later, she’s unpacking and rearranging her room. Lining little perfume bottles and mascara samples up on the vanity. Choreographing her private world. Shoving “please don’t tell me this is you” pictures into the frame around the mirror. Yet another summer, I’ll have to ban her grandparents from her room.
An hour and a half later, I stand in the hallway…pacing. Waiting on the ice cream truck. And then she starts. A halter flies out the door and lands at my feet. A pink bra, three socks, a fake diamond ring. Two hot curlers, a pair of size 0 jeans, an Ohio State sweatshirt. A little black dress with the tags on it. Two plastic champagne cups and a bag of aquarium marbles.
“Is that it?” I offer, my toes stretching to lift the pink bra up and drop it in the black garbage bag. “Yeah”
“So you don’t know who this stuff belongs to?” “Nah” “So we don’t need to save it?” “No, Mom, I’ve told you that before. It’s not mine. And I don’t know who it belongs to so I can’t return it”
This is a ritual. The cleansing.
The pitching of the “it accidentally ended up in my room” stuff.
I lift the heavy bag of marbles up and shove them in the hall closet. Skinny just got two new goldfish. Christmas is only seven months away.
I kick the little black dress. Cat hair swirls in a current and latches on for safekeeping . I reach down and pick it up, the tags jingle a little. Size 3.
I hold it up in front of the bathroom mirror. Dust it off. Traipse barefooted into my room and grab a hanger.
I can’t wait for Friday.