My 18-month-old son is standing at the window in our kitchen that looks out onto Broadway from the fifth floor. He’s got quite a repertoire of transportation words now, and I’m well-used to our kitchen resounding with enthusiastic exclamations of: “Ki Kuh! (fire truck) Da Dee! (taxi) or Caaah! (car)”
But today he’s shouting something quite different, and shouting loudly.
“Di doh!! Di doh!! Di doh!”
I’m attempting to wash the breakfast dishes with some haste, but an especially sticky blackberry jelly covering most of E’s high chair tray is besting me. As I scrub-smear, scrub-smear, I’m thinking about how I should have already been dressed by now, whether or not I’ll be able to get a cab and get to the doctor on time, wondering what time the babysitter might arrive, and trying to decide whether I should even attempt dressing little E or just focus on trying to get myself dressed and ready to go.
Little E is yelling again now. “Di doh! DIIII DOOOOOH!
Despite my attempts to ignore him, he’s unmistakably insistent. So I go to the window, sponge in hand, and glance out. I don’t see anything special, but I read somewhere that you should always try to respond to your toddler, even if you’re not sure exactly what they’re saying, so I offer a half-hearted: “Yep! Lots of cars out driving today!” and immediately return to rinsing his tray.
He ignores my lame, clearly irrelevant comment, then suddenly jumps up with delight, tapping wildly at the window with his chubby hand and squealing, “DII DOOH!”
Whatever he sees, he’s still diggin’ it.
I crouch down beside him intending to redirect his tiny pounding hand, and that’s when I see it too. Two pigeons are perched in profile on the parapet of the fourth-floor building across the street. The one in the lead starts strutting and swaggering. Just as I open my mouth to say, “Yes, sweetie, you see a bird,” his companion spreads his wings and swoops toward us, swinging away at the last moment in a perfect arc, flashing a shock of brilliant white feathers as it soars back to alight gracefully again beside its companion.
Now we are both gasping. “Whoooah!” I exhale as E chimes in with, “Iiiiiiiiiiih!”
We watch the birds for a few more minutes, giggling a little over their silly parade. And then I pick him up and head down the hall to get ready for our day.
Some mornings seem to be for rushing and fretting, while all await to grace us with wonder.