I am 6 years old.
My mother is making dinner. Fried fish and tater tots.
She sees me hanging around and says,”Don’t you have anything to do?”
I set my jacks and ball on the counter and tried to play, but I just couldn’t get the hang of throwing the ball and snatching up the jacks after a bounce.
My mother caught the ball and scooped up the jacks and had me sit with her on the floor. She showed me how to play jacks. My mother knew how to play jacks!
I never knew that!
Thus began an almost nightly ritual of jacks with my mom.
My mother laughed when I caught an especially difficult toss.
I had never heard her laugh before.
The world turned easily in the small space between us on the kitchen floor. The steady bounce of the ball and swoosh of the jacks sounded safe and soft.
I wanted the game to go on and on.
I wanted to hear my mother laugh.