Outside, the air on the deck is slightly less stifling than it has been this brutal summer. There is the tiniest hint of autumn...a hope of a chill, a rustle through the black walnut leaves promising robes, slippers, and hot chocolate. By noon, it will be humid again. Sweat rolling down my back and breathing in mist flavored with grasses, moss, and other green, living things.
Aurora is manipulating her brother. He has the big light saber, and she is negotiating a trade for the smaller, much less exciting light saber. Every ten minutes she asks me for gum. Since Cyrus is now aware of what gum is, I don't automatically say yes. He doesn't understand the concept of chew, but don't swallow, unless, of course, it's the scallops and pesto we had Friday night, so Aurora must practice stealth. Cyrus is occupied with an empty milk jug.
"Mama," she says, leaning in close and waving her hand. "Come here, I need to tell you something."
Cyrus appears at her elbow, and I shake my head at her unspoken gum request. She grunts in frustration and tries to get him out of the mama zone.
Aurora has had her breakfast Novolog shot already. She can't have any more cereal without taking another shot. She's already had cheese and pickles, and she's ready for her first sugar free, carb free gum fix of the day. She takes him into their room. I can hear her reading to him. "Roll over, roll over...there were seven in the bed. Roll over, roll over. So they all rolled over and sheep fell out." She pauses, and I can see her looking at the pictures, trying to remember exactly what the words say, interpreting. The gum is forgotten, for now.
There is a catch in my chest. I look out the window, listen to my children, and watch the leaf stained creek water flow past.