race called me this evening. My niece and goddaughter Grace, that is, not the theological attribute of the active favour of God for us, although I will not entirely separate the two. I'm sure she had a little help dialing from her mother, of course, and maybe even some slight prodding, but she launched into a chatty conversation for some while, and even showed the remarkable attribute of interrupting me with no interest in what I was saying if I took too long to say it, as is only right. I am transported.
She reported to me some details of the start of first grade tomorrow, and her excitement over getting back to school, along with a few random (but now hardly unexpected) ornithological details, such as the existence of a bird called the Grace's Warbler
and that the Northern Bobwhite
is the only species of quail to be found in Illinois. I had heard both of these nuggets from her before, a number of times in fact, but I could hardly fault her for delighting in her own knowledge and then tell her to enjoy the start of school – not without sounding a horrible hypocrite. She informed me as well that she had recently counted up to no less than the number 1000 by ones, I think as part of counting bushes in town out the car window, though that was less clear. She also said that she had 17 friends from kindergarten who she was going to see tomorrow in the first day's one-hour session of the first grade, but she declined to name them all, only mentioning her friends Hailey, Hannah, Alex, and Brady, though that last, she confessed, was a very strange name to her way of thinking.
Her sister Haley, who declined to speak to me on the phone, still displaying the kind of shyness Grace used to have about such things, attended her first day of pre-school today, jumping out of the car without giving Mommy a kiss good-bye. Shy, but still a daredevil in her own way. So all of that was too cool.