Birdy’s current favorite books are a couple of ten-ish year-old photo albums that live on the shelf beside the couch. They are full of photos of A. and I, so young (21!) and so cute, on vacation at the lake and the beach and being rowdy college near-graduates in our run-down house in Bloomington with a young, fat bear dog, not a dime to our names, and not a care in the world. Except maybe who was playing at Second Story and where we were going afterwards.
I watch A. flip through these books with Bird and I think that this is it, finally, that it’s happening. That this is what I secretly or maybe even unconsciously wished for back when these pictures were snapped, before marriage, before babies, before Tennessee, that this scene would actually be real after ten years of storing these not-even-that-great photos. That I would be here, watching my husband page through these little books with this amazing little Bird, watching him explain, “that’s your mommy. And that’s daddy. And that’s Bear with a Wheat Thin on his head. That’s your uncle Dave. That’s mommy in a bikini. That’s mommy and daddy on the boat. That was our house in the country. That was our roommate. That was the time your mom made manicotti.”
Sometimes I look through these and think, “wow, who knew?”
And then I think, “we did.”