I hold the baby on my hip, grass soft under my feet, her toes tucked inside her cloud jammies, sky blue, with little lavender and white puffy clouds. It’s early, but the sun is already warm on my shoulders. I lean over awkwardly, turn on the hose, try to make sure the spray doesn’t catch her face or hair. I’m cleaning out the birdbath, making sure the water is fresh and not too deep. The sparrows have been splashing in it lately, hopping rock to rock, flapping their wings, taking little drinks with yellow beaks. They nest in the neighbor’s window air conditioners, ridiculous, noisy, zooming around the yard, singing brightly on my garage roof, pushing in and out of their messy air conditioner nests. Their chirping must be constant in his living room.
Yesterday, a mama bird tended to babies in the driveway. Fledglings, damp with rain when T first spotted them, they fluffed out as hot sun replaced dark clouds. The mama bird diligently jetted back and forth, bird feeder to driveway, bringing them seeds. The little ones hopped around, tested their wings on short bursts of flight, hid under the peonies when the dog barked. If she brings them to the bird bath today, I want the water to be clean and clear and shallow.
It will be quiet for a few minutes more here, big sisters sleeping in, so I pour another cup of coffee, open my laptop while Margeaux plays happily, crawling, pulling up on the ottoman to reach her favorite elephant. Her hair fluffs out on one side, messy curls from sweat and sleep. I should pull the curtains closed against the oncoming heat, but I don’t. I want to keep an eye on the birdbath, the fledglings, the clearing sky.
This post is part of the Just Write series hosted by The Extraordinary Ordinary. Just Write happens every Tuesday–it’s an exercise in free writing ordinary and extraordinary moments.