And Two Spoons
This is Leslie.
She's eight years old. She's in the third grade. Today they saw a slide show about fish.
Leslie isn't particularly interested in fish, but the slides were pretty, and they got out of spelling to see the slide show. So she tried to listen to the shiny peophin with the soft voice explaining about gills and fins.
It was hard. Abbie was next to her, and Abbie was whispering to Allie. Finally, Leslie whispered, "Shh!"
"YOU shhh!" whispered Abbie back, and went right on talking.
This was painfully unfair. Leslie was stung.
She's still thinking about it now, as she walks home. Abbie was wrong. Abbie was talking first. But when Leslie tried to say so, Abbie said "shh!" again. And Leslie was making a noise, because saying "shh" is a noise, but Abbie was already making noises, she had no right to say "shh", but...
This is Leslie, and she plays by the rules, and because of this she feels guilty; but she is eight, and doesn't know how to explain why.
This is Cheryl. She'll tell you she's twenty-nine. (Don't believe her.) She has two-year-old twins.
Let me repeat that: She has two-year-old twins.
That's the girl, trying to stick the fork in the socket. That's the boy, singing a song that is half known words and half nonsense syllables and all at the top of his lungs. Cheryl has no time and no energy. This is perfectly understandable.
Cheryl also does not know how to explain things. This has nothing to do with the twins; this is simply because she isn't good with words.
There's Leslie again, walking in the door.
It's still two years before Abbie will throw her mother's death in her face at recess, and six years before Abbie will throw deadly cyclones of energy at her in the middle of the night. Leslie will survive them, and she will survive today. But she doesn't know this yet.
Eleven minutes later, when Cheryl appears at her bedroom door with a bowl of cookie dough and two spoons, she does know that she wouldn't trade Cheryl for all the mothers in the world.
They don't need words. Neither one is good with those things. They just need each other, and a bowl of cookie dough with extra chocolate chips, and two spoons.