This M’s Day I opened up the kind of box obviously designed for special gifts and found a glass pig. According to the teeny tiny piece of paper that comes with her, the pig’s name is Penelope. Nestled into satiny material, I mistook her for an upside down frog with black eyes and faintly pink legs. When I realized the legs were actually wings, I stared at the glass object on my palm, voiceless.
“Because,” my husband said, “pigs can fly.”
When I looked at him, he had the slightly amused, yet ever-so-serious expression he wears when I’ve done something cuckoo-bird, like the time I tripped and spilled a mug of hot coffee all over my jeans on our first date, or when, hiking behind him on that jungle trail, I threw a rock over the edge of the cliff and screamed and made things worse by laughing hysterically at his reaction (I still laugh, which is why we never talk about it), or when I attempted to open our hotel’s screen door the night before we were married in order to smash a lamp on the head of the guy who had just stabbed the hand of a tourist in the room next to ours and was crawling across our balcony escaping, or the time I came home driving a Mustang convertible, or last week when I locked my keys and cell phone in the car and sing-songed to my son as I bashed the laundry room window with a push toy, not realizing the window was double-paned and not at all like in the movies when people break into houses, and lately that particular look ignites whenever I moan about writer’s block).
“Pigs can fly,” my husband said with that look. “Don’t ever forget it.”
I looked at the pig. Its wings reminded me of cotton candy in sunlight, my son’s toes, Achilles’ amazing heels. With shaking fingers I tucked Penelope back into her satiny bed and slipped her box into my purse as we headed for the M’s Day breakfast joint. Between sips of a complimentary mimosa, I peeked at the box, then scowled at the open parasols hanging from the ceiling. I was working hard to keep it together, determined my son not be scarred for life by watching his mother leap from her chair and shriek-sob I LOVE MY PIG to her husband, then everyone in the restaurant.
The YA Muses recently blogged about objects of meaning and/or inspiration that they keep on their writing desks or wear around their necks and such and I truly get it now. Penelope was an instant mascot—instant winged muse. The kind who relishes flying into impossible odds—
When you hold her, she has weight.