Macaroni in My Pocket


Earlier today, I reached into the left front pocket of my jeans and found a single piece of elbow macaroni.  At first, I was taken aback, “What on earth?”  But then I remembered.  Ah, and it gave me a smile, too.

My daughter, Meridian, will be two years old in a month.  She’s a bright kid.  (Yeah, I know, that’s the expected assessment of a loving father, but hey, it’s true!)  She speaks German with me and English with my wife, Dawn.  She loves all animals, but especially dogs, and the rabbits and squirrels in our back yard.  She loves to read.  She loves to cook. 

Dawn recently purchased her a handmade wooden toy oven, furnished it with a pot, pan, and utensils from the local Dollar Tree, and arranged a space for it in our den.  Included among the accouterments is a gallon tub of macaroni, from which Meridian grabs handfuls to mix with her wooden vegetables.  She was so excited at her meal the other day, she carried the pan to my lap to show me.  She happened to drop a noodle, which I pocketed.

I have many such souvenirs.  One is a striped stone Meridian chose, from thousands, on the only beach among the five tiny fishing villages of Cinque Terre, Italy.  Some are temporary, like this noodle, or the leaves we pick while taking walks — one leaf per excursion.  Sometimes, if I’m carrying her on my shoulders, Meridian positions her leaf in my hair, but mostly, she holds it.

Those hands still have a bit of baby fat on them.  They’re almost always warm.  Her knuckles have dimples.  I love them.

Dawn also recently purchased louvered doors and shelving for our hall closet, just inside the front door.  The closet looks great now, with our shoes negotiated into neat rows, hat boxes for keys, sunglasses, and, well, hats — everything tidy now, each person’s things in each person’s place.  This is a scenario we’ve wanted (but haven’t accomplished) for a long time.  Meridian even likes to open these doors and put her belongings away.

When I got home today, I realized I’d better do the same.  By the time I got around to it, Meridian was already in bed.  I slipped out of my shoes, carried them to the closet, opened the right-hand door and … saw Meridian’s shoes parked right in my spot.

I had to chuckle.  I don’t know why, but it suddenly made me miss her.

She’s a great kid.


Leave a Reply