I wrote this poem several years ago when I was still on the active-parent list. My muse, our youngest child, was accepted into Georgetown Law School today, so this is, as always, for him:
How to Make Mason Jar Fairy Lights With Your Kids
Here’s what you need to get started:
· Glow in the Dark Paint
· Paintbrushes (preferably longer)
· School Glue (optional)
· Glitter (optional)
Enamor of the sort that ignores chiggers is necessary. Your life served up like sloppy-Joes
on a plate which marks in invisible ink the map to the secret whiskey. The ability to roll your eyes
then flick that bright attention necessary to make them forget.
Four-year-old fireflies can smell night like ancient hounds. Don’t bother trying to hide.
You’ll be so sniffed out once they’ve learned how to articulate their own directions. Snacks
and any kind of mashed potato concoction can mesmerize them long enough so that you can sneak out
of the paper Mache’ wings, but keep your bra on at all times. In fact, sleep in it. Fireflies
have this way of getting between in early-dawn moments.
Drink and pour water. Sprinkle it over their tiny heads. If the drops are as big as the heads, take immaculate care. Don’t force them into days where they are likely to become invisible. Listen as though you are Barbara Walters to the barely speaking.
Never wash off the places they have sullied you. If you do this one thing, glitter is optional for them and for you. Let them light upon anywhere they like without a coach. Remember, you are the one in the jar.