I'm sitting contentedly across the table from my husband and son. They're shuffling through boxes of wooden doodads and thingamagigs with art on their minds.
It's Saturday night, it feels late but it's not. Outside, November has finally realized it's late autumn and is acting appropriately cold and dark. The lights inside seem bright and seem to cast a golden spell, making me feel like I'm looking at this moment as a memory and I'm really somewhere else and much older remembering a perfect guilded moment.
It's nice to sit here and look at their faces. They have nice faces.
My boy attempts to put some pieces together and my husband watches. My son has plans, my husband follows his lead. They are making a little person. The little person needs a sword. The boy works a small length of wooden dowel into the body of the little person. My husband digs through the assortment of wooden parts and finds a suitable sword. Son is using a thin fine bit from a drill to bore an arm hole. My husband encourages him. The boy thanks him for making the sword. The boy gets an excited tone, he says, I've found the cutest little hat for my man! And he has. He sets the hat on the round wooden head at a jaunty angle.
My husband heads to the barn to search for more treasures. My daughter is finally lured away from her laptop and joins us at the table. She has plans to make a little scarecrow. This makes me happy. I'm content to sit here with my kids and write my thoughts while they wait for their dad to come back from the barn with more supplies. They build their little wooden figures with what they have in the meantime.
Lately when I find myself getting too tender and start waxing nostalgic for things far too early, something happens that abruptly brings me back to the real world. Tonight's call back to reality comes in the form of my son's quavering voice. "Uh, Mom? I glued my little man to my finger with Super Glue."
I can't help but laugh because really, this is a perfect thing. I was waiting for this moment. I leave my memories of the past that hasn't yet passed and take my place in the present where I belong, with nail polish remover and Q-Tips and gently and patiently wear away the bond and work the little wooden man from my son's little finger.
I tell my son that one day we'll think back on this and laugh. Remember the time when? That's how we'll start the story.