babysitting: a sketch

silence around the big old house except for the pitter of puppy paws as they patter their spontaneous way throughout the main level. occasionally a woeful brown eye catches my attention and a furry head is thrust behind the kitchen counter. I smile, knowing all too well that my pleasantry will not be returned by this restless animal.

the house is large, but scattered throughout are miniature pieces of furniture and playthings which gives the atmosphere a quaint feel only a 1 1/2 foot grand piano can give. Maria Montessori left her touch on this family and its one small little boy.

on the wall is a vintage map, pinned with all the exotic places his parents visited. I smile, knowing that all those trips are nowhere near as precious to them as their miracle child, their little joy.

love is everywhere, in the neat bags of legos, tediously organized according to an unknown system which I hope not to have ruined; in the big chairs and the little chairs; the big table and the little one. love is in the small couches in the little boy’s room, next to his meticulously clean prayer table; in the child-sized bottles of coconut milk. it’s in the light-switch extension which allows the turning on and off of the pantry light to be so convenient to a young man of 5 years; it’s in the rocking horse which sits goofily in the middle of the red oriental living-room rug.

two wide brown eyes peer out from beneath a knitted blanket between the banisters of the stairs. I smile reprovingly, knowing he should have been asleep 40 minutes ago.

“I want mommy and daddy to come home now,” he says.

he’s soon back to bed. the pattering of dog feet are silent now and my chemistry books are untouched.


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