They say to write what you know.

So today, this is what I know:

I know the path of the late afternoon airplanes over the neighborhood and the sound they make when the sky is clear.

I know the July breeze through our backyard and the slurp slush of the garden hose filling the kiddie pool that’s covered in treasure chests and smiling sea life.

I know the way Lala’s purple swim shirt hugs her round belly and how much it reminds me that she is still little. I know the curve of J’s back in the cherry and polka-dot swimsuit that ties around her neck and that the color of her summer hair is just like mine as a girl.

I know when Sici needs some time alone and is filled by a good book on the couch in the living room, hugging the bolster pillow and pulling on her braids.

On this afternoon…

I don’t know when Sici will come into the backyard, lean over the deck railing and smile at us, just because. Or when she will jump to feet and begin tap dancing or create a competition for herself and her sisters.

I don’t know how fun it can be to watch flour, water, sugar and cinnamon concoctions in the hands of little girls and how interesting it can be to eat your “dough cake” experiments off turquoise melamine plates with plastic spoons. I realize how much I don’t know about gluten and think that I should look it up to give a more intelligent explanation for the swamp creature movements of these creations from plate to spoon to mouth.

I should also say, neither did I know how much I’d feel the swamp creature in my gut an hour later, though it would be fair to say I should have.

I don’t know what new words will roll from the tongues of my youngest ones. This afternoon, there’s “kicky-ticky-off,” a movement of feet specific to the swimming pool and “snibble,” which means a short ways down a path.

I don’t know which song the girls will sing over and over again — “Party Rock Anthem” from camp or “Do-Re-Mi” — alternately delighting and irritating one another with the repetition — or what new songs they will compose.

I didn’t know that one of today’s fresh new singles would go a little something like this:

There’s little fishies surrounding me.
I can’t see them very well today…
Don’t start hopping in the apple tree.

OK, just don’t. You’ve been warned. I bet you didn’t know about the fish or the apple tree either, but now that we’ve got the information, we’ve got to be smart out there, people.

Afternoon drawing to a close, and I don’t know what we’ll eat for dinner. Somehow not a whole lot sounds appealing when you’re sharing stomach space with a science experiment. What do ya know?

Linking up today with “Just Write” (an exercise in free writing everyday moments) at The Extraordinary Ordinary.

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