Maya spent the days leading to Mother’s Day studying her book of Lego designs. She would disappear at odd times to her room and I would use my mom stealth to spy. She woke early and stayed up too late. Her yawns spilled her secret.
Her bedroom floor grew messier as the top of her dresser became an elaborate Lego village. Each piece was chosen with care from the bins of random bricks she inherited from Spencer. Maya created magic cottages with secret compartments. She made miniature characters of the two of us and mapped out our imaginary adventures in the world she designed. The Bluejay feather we found on the first warm sunny day last week was the spire on the center tower. The tip was dipped in glue then frosted with glitter. It was proof that it was magic.
On Mother’s Day morning, she restrained herself from waking me up too early. The village was complete. I kissed her frizzy morning hair and she showed me each detail. I promised a permanent display in the china cabinet. I loved her creation and I love the girl who made it.
Later in the day, Xander slipped out of my subconscious radar for a few moments. I usually hear each step he makes and every door he opens. The invisible tether is helpful in averting countless disasters. I am no amateur.
Maybe because it was Mother’s Day, I fell asleep for a moment on the couch. Maybe it was the Chihuahua’s fault for being a warm ball of fur on my lap on a chilly Spring day. Maybe I can’t grasp every thread that unravels with such maddening regularity.
Xander had taken each carefully planned structure apart. Pieces were scattered across the dresser and the floor. Her cat poster from Christmas, which had already survived a destructive visit last week, was ripped into shreds to mingle like volcanic ash over the devastation in her room. I should have moved it to the locked china cabinet sooner. I never even took a picture.
Maya saw it first. She sighed, “Oh, Xander!” I told her I was sorry. Then she shrugged and said it was fun building it. She was glad I got to see it and that I liked it. And Dad could probably fix her poster. She headed downstairs to work on a school project. Free of anger and regret.
When she left for school today, I tackled cleaning her room. I found myself choking back tears as I put those scattered pieces back in the bins. Another minor disaster that was the fault of no one. One child learns about the world by building and creating. The other is fascinated with the fragments which compose the whole.