Yesterday I walked into the family room and happened to glance out into the adjacent sun room.
Dagny has been here, I thought. And indeed she had, on Saturday afternoon.
Upon entering the house jabbering -- Dagny is always talking or singing; try to stop her -- Dagny makes a beeline for Rizzo. And me. Mainly because where you find Rizzo, you usually find me.
Sighting Rizzo for the first time, she bursts into a belly laugh. Rizzo's mere existence makes Dagny overflow with mirth.
Hi Rizzo! Hi Rizzo! Hi Rizzo! She chortles, over and over again as though he's deaf.
Hi Dag, I say.
Hey Mamaw, she adds.
In due time Dagny is encouraged to let Rizzo be alone with his chew toys, and proceed to the sun room where her own toys reside, divided between a wire basket and a Lego bucket.
She splits her time between dumping the Legos out onto the family room floor and building a tower or a house, and staying in the sun room where she plays vigorously with the stuffed animals, a few bouncing balls, a canister of buttons (do not open it!) and an old wireless phone.
Among her favorites in the stuffed critter category are her yellow teddybear (it comes out Lello Teyberr!), two keyrings with tiny puppies attached, a small stuffed Dalmatian, a diminutive bear wearing a Nummer One! teeshirt, and two Chihuahuas left over from the late-'90s Yo Quiero Taco Bell ad campaign.
The Chihuahuas still talk: The one with the rose in its mouth says I Think I'm In Love and the other one repeats Drop The Chalupa as many times as you care to squeeze its chest.
And yes; we bought these soft-taco dog dolls around 1998. Around the same time we got Javier. And yes; the acquisitions were connected.
I stood there laughing at the way Dagny had left her ammals when she took her leave on Saturday. Sometimes I find them lined up on the bench; this time they were grouped on the floor, with Lello Teyberr propped on the bench leg.
The keyring puppies are situated cheek-by-jowl, as are the Chihuahuas -- one standing, the other in an eternal sitting position. Nummer One bear is perched in Lello Teyberr's garish furry lap. Small Dalmatian takes up little space at the rear of the arrangement.
The plastic eyes stare without sight but somehow still manage to convey a message of life and the sort of cuteness that entrances children.
I wondered where kids get the idea to arrange objects the way they do. What does it say about their personalities? What induces them to organize and compartmentalize and form cozy tableaux?
Still musing, I went upstairs to make coffee. And noticed my own dining table.
I know the real meaning of Easter. But I also love bunnies and have a small collection. I bring them out in late March, where they stay, decorating various surfaces, until I go all patriotic for summer.
My bunnies' eyes are sightless but they delight me with the whimsy and sweetness they convey.
I guess that's your answer, I thought.
Hey. Little eyes (the kind that really see) are watching. I may be wrong, but I think they get most of their ideas from us -- those among whom they live and learn. Those from whom they're bound to take many cues.
I think that's very cool. I believe I'm up to it. Are you?
And that is all for now.