"Whas at?" RunningHammer asked during a late breakfast this morning as I put on Scarlet's Walk.





Then from his highchair between mouthfuls of blueberry yogurt told me to stop dancing while I kneaded the herbed parmesean french bread.

It's been like that with us this week, and I'm sure it will be the same next week. My new three-off/four-on work schedule jives nicely with the family schedule, although I have to get up at 3:30 a.m. to do anything for myself. On my off days I'm in charge of getting the big boys up and out to school. Then it's just me and the little guy for the rest of the day, with whom I've not had not as much one-on-one time as I'd like.

Do we ever really have the time we want with our children? I'd like to shrink myself to a vapor and meander in the dreams of each of my guys, to squash the nightmares they don't speak of, to help them become the heores they are, to change the positions of the stars in their sleepy skies to form private constellations of their unique happiness.

So RunningHammer watches Elmo and waves to the garbage and recycling men in their big, noud tucks (loud trucks). He jumps fearlessly in to the pool. Pool fun!! Squirrels paralyze him with amazement. Kwirrl! KWIRRL!! He pushes his tiny weight against me on the couch to read Robert the Rose Horse. I'll doze on the floor as he holds my hand through the slats of his crib and sets sail for napland.

I'll rise and while he sleeps I'll sketch nude studies of his mother for future paintings and warm some coffee and chop some veggies for dinner and know that this time is a gift slipping through my fingers like molten gold.