Monday, February 25, 2013

I am at the YMCA.
I see a woman whom I haven't seen in two years. Her son was in preschool with Aoife. She marvels at Fiona and Maeve, their dexterity on the climbing structure, their height, their vocabulary. Last she saw me they were a baby (who could not yet walk) and a big bump. This seemed recent.
And then she says to me, and the older three are at the charter school?
Yes, I say. And I think to myself, did she just say three? But the room is noisy. She must have said two.
How old are they? You have five, right? No, four? Five?
Four, I say, correcting her.
Oh, four, she says. I don't know why I thought it was five.

I do.

(she was one of the few people in my life's history who came to my house and saw something with Charlotte's name on it and asked, with beautiful innocence, "Who's Charlotte?" As I'm leaving the Y, I remember this story with complete clarity. And I am betting that as she left the Y, she also remembered why she imagined me with five.)

P.S. So what is it? Four, or five? What do you say when you are ten years out (almost)?