Friday, August 1, 2008

Please, Poppa, Come Home

This morning, Moona marched into the kitchen, opened the dishwasher, pulled out a soup spoon and a ceramic bowl, and marched out. I was on the phone but was cut off by some terrible clanging from the front at the house.

I ran to the dishwasher, pulled out a small frying pan, and replaced the bowl with a more suitable, less breakable clanging item. Moona commented as I walked away,

"I am helping Abee. I need to help abee." She had opened the blinds in the living room at the front of the house and was looking expectantly out of the window. BANG. CLASH. WHACK. CLASH. SMASH.

Still on the phone with my mother, I did not try to make sense of this and moved away from the clammering.

It continued interspersed throughout the day. In between dancing, reading stories, dumping the bathroom wastebaskets, lathering little sisters' dry hair with conditioner, and baking bread, Moona every so often told me she had to help abee. And she picked up the frying pan and spoon, walked to the front of the house, and started clanging.

"I have to help abee. So abee comes home."

And then the seemingly meaningless activity dawned upon me and became the cutest little gesture I had seen in a long time. Two weeks ago, at my parents' home, we watched a very clean, nice movie Love Comes Softly about a family living on the prairie. In one of the scenes, the father has to go out in a blinding snowstorm to find his wife. He gives his daughter a gun and tells her to shoot it in the air if he doesn't appear in ten minutes (so that he can find his way back to the cabin through sound). The daughter waits ten minutes, then opens the door and shoots the gun into the air until there are no more bullets. Panicked, the girl runs into the house, grabs a frying pan and the spoon and starts frantically banging into the wall of snow outside her door. The father, carrying his unconscious wife, appears a few moments later.

I started chuckling, called my mother to tell her the story, and we had a good laugh. Then I pulled Moona to me and explained to her that Abee knew how to find his way home.

I was surprised that she understood the meaning of the girl's actions in the movie, and that two weeks later it was so pressing in her mind.

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