At the end of the 2 1/2 hour drive to Flagstaff to escape the heat, my full bladder and I leapt from the car and bolted toward the restroom in the Safeway, Mbot in tow. Surely he had to go, too? Someone sadistic had located the restroom beyond the floral department. Mbot broke away. “Mom! Can we smell the flowers?”
I said yes, and squeezed.
He plunged his head in bouquet after bouquet. At last, he came up for breath from a bunch of roses. “Mom! Smell these roses! They smell deLIGHTful!”
I did. They did. And then we bolted for the bathroom. In another six months I will find it difficult to grasp why exactly this exclamation was so delightful itself: not only because Mbot was stopping to smell the roses, but because it is a delightful word for a 50-month-old to utter. It may have been the first time he’d used it. And no matter how inaccurate my memory has become since giving birth, I seem to have an acute sense for when I’ve heard a word uttered from either bots’ mouth. I know for sure that, last week, when Gbot climbed into his brother’s car seat that he’d finally inherited, the one with the coveted cup holder, and announced, “This car seat is spectacular!” it was the first time he had used that word.
It was spectacular.