So then, Sean’s homework assignment for today included, you guessed it, tally marks.
Today his mission was to count the knives, forks and spoons in the silverware drawer and tally them up. Since most of our everyday silverware was either in the sink or the dishwasher, we went to the formal dining room and pulled open the top draw of the china hutch, where we keep the good stuff.
I pulled back the flannel cloth, grabbed all the forks and then laid them in a jumble on a placemat for him to sort. He carefully laid four forks side by side like soldiers, laid the fifth one across the four and then put the rest in another group.
I was relieved to see that he had conceded to the universe and decided to go along with the five-mark tally system, not because it will make his life easier, but because my new goal in life is to never give another persuasive speech on the merits of the five-mark tally system.
After he recorded his findings on his little clipboard, he tucked his pencil behind his ear and then rolled up all the forks in the placemat. As he handed the roll of forks to me to put back into the drawer, he exclaimed, “May the forks be with you!”
“Get it?” he said, “May the FORKS be with you? FORKS?!”
And then he threw his head back and laughed hysterically at his own joke.
My heart was flooded with joy, at the way he makes me laugh, at the way his eyes make the shape of a rainbow when he laughs, at how I couldn’t think of one thing that could make my life one drop sweeter.