Hope. Honor. Justice. Charity. Senility.

15 May


The first four abstract nouns in today’s title are also names of kids I’ve heard my daughters speak of. Last night I noticed that my old, half-wasted brain groups these four people together into one general ultra-moralistic female student with a face I can’t quite keep in focus. Ten years ago I would have been able to pack them into my mind labeled with a face, what school they go to, and where the girls know them from (band, Girl Scouts, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, gymnastics, etc.)

Now, if Ainsley tells me that Justice got in trouble at recess on Monday and Chloe tells me that Honor ran the mile in seven mintues on Tuesday, Wednesday I’ll ask Jennifer how Hope got into a 2nd grade track & field program. On Thursday, Chloe might mention how Hope said something hilarious in Math, and I’ll be left wondering what she was doing at Ainsley’s school on Monday and what she did to get in trouble. This all leaves me horrible fearful of how I’ll keep anything straight another ten years from now. Every human being I know will become one rainbow-colored blob of a human named Bill Smith.

The latest example: Last night Chloe mentioned Hope doing something or another.

Me: Hey, I know where Hope lives. I saw her dad in this yard when I was on my way home from the cafe yesterday.

Chloe: How do you know it was Hope’s dad?

Me: It’s the guy who rides his bike all the time. We saw them both at Books-a-million that one day, remember?

Chloe: (blank stare)

Jennifer: Hope’s dad?

Me: Yeah, Hope’s dad.

Chloe: (blank stare continues)

Jennifer: (blank stare)

Me: (worried look as I ponder the possibility that they’ve spent significant time near some high voltage power lines and are slowly losing their mental faculties)

Then it hit me as I pedaled to town this morning that it was Honor I was thinking about, not Hope. I have no idea where Hope lives or what her dad looks like, but, really, if I can’t keep the girls straight it’s nonsensical to even attempt to categorize their parents.

Oh God, just set me down in a wooden rocker, cover me with a shawl and a cat, put on some old-time radio (80s), and don’t forget to wipe the spittle from my chin every once in awhile.

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