Monday, November 19

Early Bird

Madeleine commutes (Photo from Sonnet) 

I am on the bus with Madeleine - top level front offering a panoramic sweep of road before us and the dawn crescent : London comes awake in the most intense way.  Taxis, cars, people fight for any free space in the onward rush, rush, rush! to their work slot.

Being with Madeleine a pleasure and we practice spelling words, discuss the swimming gala, talk about play dates and school.  I tell her about my 6:00AM walks with Moe at around her age : he to the bus, me to swim practice.  Eventually I got wise and convinced my father to drive us and Katie to the pool (where Moe also swam laps).

Usually Sonnet takes Madeleine to Emanuel en route to the museum (making Sonnet's inward commute sometimes two-hours) but today she is to Florence.  I (and au pair Aneta) solo with the Shakespeares so I receive emails and texts from Sonnet not yet at the airport (last night, we had a sit-down pow wow to overview the schedule).  Given the logistics of separate schools, multiple sports, teacher's conference (Madeleine), choir (Eitan) and trumpet solo (Madeleine) , work is like a holiday.

Me: "Have you ever missed the bus?"
Madeleine: "Yeah, sometimes, so we have to take the train. Once there was vasaline all over the poles and people were, like, that is so gross. They put bags on their hands to hold on."
Me: "Teenagers."
Madeleine: "Yep. Why would they do that?"
Me: "Who knows but it is kinda funny."
Madeleine: "I guess so, Dad, but you weren't on the train."

Me: "Are you looking forward to Christmas?"
Madeleine: "Yes. And seeing Gracie and Moe and Auntie Katie."
Me: "Me, too."
Madeleine: "It would be terrible to have your birthday on Christmas."
Me: "Oh?"
Madeleine: "You would miss out on all the gifts!"
Me: "Good point. But it would be the best Christmas gift ever for the parents."
Madeleine:  "No kid wants their birthday around Christmas, Dad. April is the best month since there is time between Christmas.  But Marcus has his on April 1 - April fools."
Me: "So, like, hey Marcus - here are your presents. April fools!"
Madeleine: "Yeah. That would be terrible. I feel sorry for him."
Me: "I bet, poor kid."