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“This is the best day of my LIFE” she says, shaking the branches above her to test their strength, to see if they will hold her weight.

Climbing trees

“You know you said that yesterday, and the day before too?” I ask, preoccupied by … something. There’s always something to be taken care of, to be watched, to be bandaged or brushed off, or held. When I go to yoga, I have to consciously remove my shoulders from my ears; to tell each muscle to relax, to drop, that for one short hour each week we are not on the defensive. We do not need to be at the ready, poised to spring forward and avert disaster.

She jumps out of the tree, and flourishes her arms over her head like a gymnast. “Yeah! They were!” She leans down to gather a handful of contraband flowers, the ones she was told not to pick at least 600 times. “These are for Sam,” she says, and I soften.

“You know every day can’t be the very best day of your life, right?” I ask, overthinking the moment, looking for an in to talk about hyperbole, or the finite nature of expression. I catch myself considering every moment to be a “teachable moment” lately. Whether this is a result of the pressure of homeschooling, or my innate nature as a know-it-all, is hard to say.

She furrows her brow, suddenly serious.  “Why not? Why can’t every day be the best day?”

We watch each other for a moment, her waiting for an answer, my waiting to catch my breath. She is impatient, and this is the first sunny day in spring, so she shrugs and is away again.

Climbing trees

Why can’t tomorrow, and yesterday, and the day before that, be the best day of my life?

Why not today?

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