"Hey,Cai - what're ya makin' - cribbylude?"
Neil grins at her & just from the angle i'm at, i see the confusion on her face - with just the slightest twinge of recognition at that old, well used word.
Wasn't it just yesterday that little cotton haired girl would bring me her tiny blue metal pot and offer me some fresh home made cribbylude? i would smell her offering, oohing and ahing at the delicious aroma, and ask for a large portion. She would scrape some out onto a tiny chipped china plate, and go back to work, furiously stirring and adding random imaginary ingredients to her pot... making batch after batch... of cribbylude.
It was the accompanying dish at every tea party. Sloanie loyally helped her prepare it as they pretended to be a mommy and a daddy, an orphaned sibling group, or princesses cowed by a wicked step mother.
& then there was a gradual shift - the little blue pot was sometimes replaced with larger kitchen tools. The ingredients were sometimes real - and her little hands learned to carefully sift them together to make bread, buns, cookies or pies. Cribbylude wasn't on the menu as often as it once was.
And now - as that word passes Neil's lips - i feel my heart race... just a touch - and i look at her face. Her cheeks are pink, and she's rushing through supper so she can pack up her guitar for a practice. Her eyes are still enormous - and impossibly blue - but her cotton hair is tamed and her outfit is clean... My wild haired girl from years gone by flashes before my eyes. Always in a cotton dress with bruises covering her white legs in the summer - or thick brightly coloured tights in the winter. Her nails used to be chewed to the bone - even her stubby toenails. In my minds eye - that wispy little girl holds up a pot of cribbylude for me to admire.
She screws her brows, "Is that the food i used to pretend to make when i was little?"
Yeah... i guess it was...
& am i ever hungry for a taste of it tonight...