Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Unphotographed Moments – Days Twenty-Nine, Thirty, and Thirty-One

(This post is part of a series for August 2013 entitled “Unphotographed Moments.” Read the intro to the series here.)

Thursday’s Unphotographed Moments:

Owlet, my proud helper, choosing birthday balloons for Gertrude and holding them in all their threatening-to-escape helium glory throughout the store until we purchased them and tied weights to their strings, and then carrying them out to the car herself, feeling no doubt quite grownup for not holding my hand (we have recently begun allowing this on small streets and not-too-busy parking lots and she loves it).

The teenage squirrel whom our cats first caught on Wednesday (Thor was able to rescue it by keeping the cats at bay with a rake) returned. This time I was the rescuer — I put a broom down next to it, intending to shelter it from the cat, but it climbed onto the broom so instead I carried it across the yard and lifted it via broom elevator to the fence top.

Friday’s Unphotographed Moments:

Several sightings of the little squirrel in our small front yard during our routine comings and goings. The little guy is not nearly skittish enough for my liking, and why on earth has it chosen a house with three cats? Platypup wanted to catch it, and I held him back for fear it would let him!

Owlet lounging on top of me, belly to belly, laughing every time mine gurgled.

The re-return of our friendly neighborhood squirrel. Cricket seems to enjoy playing with it but not roughly enough to do visible damage. It plays dead like nobody’s business only to frolic off when its attacker loses interest. The squirrel declined the offer of a broom ride, so after watching this process repeat a few times, I got bored and went back inside. Cricket followed at my heels and went for a bite from his bowl… Clearly he lacks incentive.

Saturday’s Unphotographed Moments:

Getting to play bridge for the first time in ages and ages! Our bridge buddies from when we all lived in Boston now live a couple hours away, and we do not get together as often as we would like. We did not have high hopes for playing much since Thor had to work both Friday night and Saturday night, but Platypup obligingly took a decent nap and Owlet was mostly content to amuse herself so we were able to play much of the afternoon.

Platypup lying in my lap trying to both nurse and dance, with mixed success.

And finally…

The return of our little fish!

We did twice-weekly swimming lessons with Owlet from early toddlerhood till sometime this past spring, and she was swimming. Real swimming. Gorgeous mermaid underwater swimming. We would enter the pool together and I would sweep backwards, facing her, arms outstretched and grinning every time to see her toddle down the steps and push off, wiggling toward me, not doggy paddling or anything recognizable, but in a stroke all her own.

And then we fell off the lesson bandwagon for a variety of logical but not good enough reasons and did not swim for awhile. And the next time we went to a pool, she had forgotten.

To say Thor and I felt guilty would be to say a pool is damp. The word is inadequate.

We tried to coax her body and mind into remembering, to no avail. Reluctantly we attempted to shelve the shimmering memory of our merchild and start from scratch. And made sure to resume swimming regularly.

Today our forced nonchalance paid off. Today she forgot to care about getting her face wet, pushed off the pool bottom with her feet, and swam several paces. And then she did it again.

That is my final “unphotographed moment” of the month, and it belongs tucked firmly against the memory of her first learning to swim. It is her triumph, and ours, a reminder of how things of value can be lost if care is not taken, a reminder to take time where time is needed, a reminder that what feels like the end may in fact be intermission. Most of all, it is a reminder not to underestimate the tenacity of our quiet little firecracker of a fish.


Today’s one-shot photo:


Beading work in progress.


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