Stranded in the Rain with a Rainbow (To Fable, with love.)

Yesterday, my car door wouldn't close. I had just picked Fable up from a friend's house, and as we were trying to leave to pick up the twins from their school... we couldn't. I tried to close the door but it wouldn't budge. I turned off the power, turned it back on, tried to pull the door manually and finally burst into tears. This week was not easier than last week. Technical difficulties have abounded everywhere... I overbooked. I overestimated. So much so that I was unable to sit down and write much of anything this week.

The door not closing felt very "of course" because, of course. And after cursing and kicking curbs and trying with all my might to get the door to close, I finally just gave up.

I folded myself into a ball on the curb and cried with the broken door and the twins waiting to be picked up and everything felt impossible. It felt impossible the day before, too, when I found myself unable to pick three children up at the same time and ended up being late to get Fable.

"I'm so sorry I'm late," I said to her as I collected her from the steps outside of play practice.

"Mama, it's fiiiiiyyyyne." Fable tilted her head and did the thing she does when she's trying to make me or someone else feel better. She smirks and squints her eyes like whatever, dude. No biggie. Moving on... 
It was the same look attached to the same face that emerged from inside the van as I sat in a heap feeling sorry for myself, yesterday. And then with a cross-eyed grin, Fable started to sing.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Bright coppered kettles and warm woolen mittens...

(ED: Not only did we see The Sound of Music at The Ahmanson two nights ago but Fable is in the midst of practicing for a neighboring school's production of The Sound of Music so, yeah... The Hills are very much Alive...)

...Brown paper packages tied up with string...

She made a hundred faces as she sang...  Her eyes became big and then she crossed them and then she put her hands in the air and conducted me to join her:


And then, like a bad movie, we busted out on the side of the road.


We never got the door to close, but I did manage to close it halfway. We drove home slowly with the hazards on and the music blasting to overpower the sound of strangers' voices who were hell-bent on telling us YOUR SIDE DOOR IS OPEN!

"IT IS!???"

"You do not say!!!"


And soon enough, we were both in tears laughing.

And singing

And laughing.


Fable and I have a song. I don't remember how it started, but through the years we have had a sort of kismet relationship with Tracy Chapman's Fast Car. It was a favorite of mine back in the day and it became a favorite of Fable's in recent years when in some sort of satellite radio coincidence, it came on EVERY TIME Fable and I were driving just the two of us.

There's a word for that... I want to say its synchronicity but I feel like that's probably wrong. I'm tired and don't really know much of anything at the moment. I'm basically sleep-typing this post, is the thing. And yet, I do know that driving in a slow car was what we were suddenly doing.

Mama's got a slow car....

Sometimes life feels like it's building up to these seemingly insignificant moments that exist for no other reason than to prove to its patrons and that everything is absurd.

And a little bit broken.

And slightly hazardous.

By the time we arrived home, we were both aching from laughing so hard, our voices hoarse from singing.

Maybe together we can get somewhere
Any place is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
Me myself I got nothing to prove

There is so much more I want to write and tell and share... about the broken car door and the broken week and Fable's ability to SING ME and everyone else she knows, back to sanity --  how wonderful these past seven years with her have been...  but I only have this tiny window before bedtime happens and another crazy weekend begins...  So, this. This is what I've got. A short story about an hour-in-the-life with Fable Luella, birthday girl: lover of art and life and books and musical theater and girl- power ball point pen tattoos...
Happy Birthday to my light, my love, my rainbow--with the cape on her back and the song in her lungs and the light in her heart--who has sung me off many a curb and who will sing me off many a curb more.

Maybe together we can get somewhere...

And we did.

We do.

We will.

Happy Birthday, dear Fable.  Thank you for ever being a light in all of our lives.