Annie's sitting in the floor. She's singing a Deerhunter song in her shaky, sweet, unembarrassed five year old voice. She's cutting out drawings of kittens and squirrels, bringing them to me behind her back and asking me to pick one. I win no matter which hand I choose.
Allie is across the room, playing with Playmobil. She sings along with Annie sometimes. Sometimes, she changes the words and drives Annie crazy. Together they make up a song about shopping at Target to the tune of "Helter Skelter." It makes me laugh, and I join in. Al brings me the scene she's made: a string of mortals trying to climb a rope to Mt. Olympus. The Playmobil girl on top is named Judy and she's going to get there first because Pegasus has come down from the sky to carry her the rest of the way.
"You DID it, Mom!" Ian yells. He's playing baseball on the Wii. The kids made a Mii of me (and a very cute one, too) and my batter hit a home run. He was sincerely happy for Mii.
I read a comment on a blog earlier that said, "Identities are temporary." It's taken me a long time to become comfortable with this present identity of mine: mom, homeschooler, wife. Not jetsetter, not a mover and/or shaker, not anything I ever spent my younger years dreaming about being. Pretty far from it, actually. It's only occasionally now (and not all the time) that I want to tell strangers that (in spite of the chattering kids, and the minivan, and the purse full of band-aids and tissues, and the house in the 'burbs with the weedy flower bed and the too-large swing set out back) I've been places and listened to really obscure music and interviewed bands and am kind of still cool waaaay deep down. I'm at this beautiful, magical place, though: I'm so totally content with this version of me. I like this identity so much, I wish it would never slip away. But it will, and the now-me is sad when I think about it. The young-me rolls her eyes and mutters about concerts missed, about selling out, about goofy kid concerns that are long gone. Hopefully the someday-me is saying that the next self, she'll be alright, too.
We had to go out earlier so the kids could spend the money they'd saved up. Someone on our street has put up a tacky black and gold sign for a local candidate.
"Someone's running for sheriff," Allie remarked. I nodded.
Her voice got low and drawly, and she said, "This town ain't big enough for the both of us."
Seriously, how could I ever want anything else?