To chop the soft and blemished fruit into a past-due breakfast parfait, lace with warm oatmeal, then cajole my daughter into eating it instead of the Trix she finagled from the cereal aisle and which I’m certain will give her sugar-induced pea green diarrhea.
To rise from my sickbed to do the weekend laundry, resurrected from my habitual resentments, appreciating this simple task as the essential business in a whole and healthy life.
To tenderly, mindfully, as though approaching an altar, hang nearly every item of my daughter’s laundry to air dry, because although it is our fervently futile wish that she never grow up, I can still do my best to ensure that she not too hastily grow out, and starvation is not an option.
To notice that, within the full hamper of cleaned clothing, not one pair of her socks had been worn in the previous week, meaning she is suitably free of her mother’s fastidious conventions.
To hear my grace, my Georgia, against her willful inertia, practice the piano and deliver to me the most lovely praise songs, thus knowing that my own mother, standing in her own kitchen, despite my fumbling artistry, once received the same sweet cup of satisfaction from me.
To flush and fill the fish tanks with fresh gallons of distilled elixir, a weekly baptism, comforted that in the vast mutabilities of this life, I can pour this gold into the goldfish forever.
To watch my husband and daughter circle each other in wary regard, to wrestle and shout a messy wreck of feelings, to see them suffer their deep adoration of one another, and leave it be, well and good and theirs alone.
To receive, sort and distribute 1,700 boxes of Girl Scout cookies into and out of my garage, ennobling each girl with the triumph of her participation, relieving each parent by the discharge of their duty.
To take, one by one, copies of my book to the good old United States Post Office, knowing these recipients by name, the readers by heart, and remembering full well that I can “wait a year to get rich.”
To see without doubt that when my dog places her muzzle on my left thigh while I sit here at the cockpit of my ruminations, it is indeed time to take her for a walk, because dogs are never confused about what time it is.
To relent and allow, when my daughter asks by name for an afternoon snack, the bowl of Trix she favors, and makes for herself, apprising me in the process that she had a bowl of the same yesterday and it didn’t turn her insides green.
To have all of this, to forget it, and then remember again, remember again, remember again.