It’s early on a Saturday morning. We’re still in bed when Rilla goes padding past our door, headed for Saturday-morning cartoons. Scott mumbles something into his pillow.
I’m baffled at what I just heard. “Did you…” I say, “did you just call her a harpy?”
“What??” Now he’s the baffled one.
“Did you just say, ‘Hello, harpy.'”
He’s sputtering. “No! I said ‘Was that our Bean?'”
“Ohhh. That makes more sense.”
Rilla hears me giggling and reverses her steps: having mom and dad all to herself is way better than anything on TV. She snuggles in on Scott’s side, chortling this low, throaty chortle she has when she is feeling especially triumphant.
“Hello, my harpy,” Scott murmurs into the top of her head.
She pushes up on her arms, peering down at him.
“What did you call me, Daddy? Did you call me…your heartbeat?”
We’re both laughing. “Yes,” he says. “That’s exactly right. My heartbeat. Hello, Heartbeat.”
Sometimes Lilting, Sometimes Tilting