golden days

There are ten Swiffer refill boxes lined up at the bottom of the basement stairs, an economical bulk purchase turned Rube Goldbird project. "Ready to watch?" Tuck wonders, standing beside them, poised to roll a matryoshka Santa down the backside of a puzzle to set off the giant dominoes.
Later he hollers from the other room, muffled words from behind the tree where he’s apparently checking plugs. I walk past Mary —who’s standing on her head on the coffee table, with Joseph balanced on her feet, just part of their circus act, I’m told — to see what he’s pointing at. He’s worried there’s not a GFCI outlet for the twinkle lights since there’s water in the stand benext to it. "You know mom, water and electricity are a recipe for disaster."
Tollie stands on his bar stool, done with lunch. "Meem eat apple. Meem eat crackers. Meem eat..." And then giggling from behind sly hands covering his mouth, "Meem eat Mom-mom’s feet."  I’d just teased him about nibbling his toes if he kept his feet on the counter.
Later Tollie squats in front of the fireplace. I’ve told him ten times already today not to get too close, demonstrating where it’s safe to stand. Andy gives him the same reminder. "Mom-mom’s bottom too hot?"  he asks. "Yes," Andy agrees, "Mama’s bottom is hot."
We’re as hot as a mess comes, all four of us, a veritable performance art rendition of Dante’s Inferno. A circus act, a recipe for disaster, whatever we are, I feel like we might be smack in the middle of the good old days. Is there a way to know for sure before they’re gone?

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