Tag Archives: a small perfect something

The Small Boy’s Gingerbread Cottage

Mise en place

Assembly complete, decoration begins.

Deep in concentration, he begins hour two.

Two hours in, he feels his work is done.

The finished Cottage. Number of candies placed by Mama: Two.

Boys Show Their Love In Odd Ways

I heard Felix through the monitor yesterday, yawning and stretching after his nap, so I walked upstairs and went into his room to find him peeping out from under his covers, grinning sleepily.

I sat down next to him, slid my hands under the blankets to hug him.

“Your bed is so warm. Can I come in?” I asked him.

“Yup,” he replied, still smiling.

I laid my head on his chest. He adjusted its placement.

“You’re too big to fit in here,” he commented, but he wrapped his arms around my head and squeezed.

He let go, and asked, “Can we do nose kisses?”

I touched our noses together, he turned his head, rubbed the tips of our noses just so. He laughed.

“You do it!”

I touched our noses together again, then rubbed the tip of my nose over his.

He touched the underside of his nose with his finger.

“I have crusties on there.”

“You do,” I said. “Yuck.”

“I’m going to pick them.”

“Please don’t!” I begged, laughing. He did it anyway.

“I just picked one, and I’m going to put it on your face!”

And he did it anyway.

Tokens of Ownership

Just now Mark pulled three brushed nickel house numbers out of a rumpled Restoration Hardware bag. The receipt tumbled out with them.


Three days after my 28th birthday. The day after our closing. Our first house. Our wedding less than two months away. Unbeknownst to me, my current job will end very soon, another opportunity presenting itself favorably. So much change, so much new responsibility. Going into Restoration Hardware, on the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets, and poring over the styles and finishes, wanting to purchase a small, perfect something. A token for the house. Something to make it immediately ours. Feeling very adult, going to buy new numbers for my house at a fancy store in Back Bay.

Now, Mark sits at the kitchen table, an Azek board and a screw gun in hand, and mounts the numbers to the board. Three more minutes and the board is on the house.

Five years, four months and seventeen days later, those numbers, my token of ownership, are finally on the house. In that time, Mark has gutted eighty percent of the first floor, replumbed and rewired the whole house, built two new staircases, a bath/laundry room, a home office, a new front porch and back deck, reroofed, and fenced in the yard, we’ve decorated a nursery, brought home two puppies, and our small boy. I’ve planted gardens, transplanted flowers from my mother’s gardens, we put in a sandbox. Through all that, the old numbers stayed where they were, on the old front porch post, leaning up against the street face of the house. Somehow all those responsibilities and lists crowded around, jostling for attention, and time slipped away.

Today, though? We have three new brushed nickel numbers on a block on the front of the house.