I know I said Friday would be the hundredth edition of The Daily Kina, but then I sat and counted all the pages again and I realized that, technically, it’s tomorrow. So here’s the ninety-ninth edition of The Daily Kina, which is principally about Kina going to work.
Kina did not, before the pandemic, go to work. Her relationship with work emerged in March, as I began to lock myself in the bedroom and type. Shortly after that, she showed troubling signs of office labor, setting up her “computer” (a board book) on her “desk” (her chair) to “type” (whacking her fingers wildly on the cover of the book). She soon began to notice that I was frequently on the phone and began to take calls from an unnamed coworker: “Hello, yes? I am going to work.” Since then, her departures for work have become more urgent and unexpected—sometimes coming in the middle of a conversation, as she turns on her heel and breathlessly tells us, “I gotta go to work. I’m going to work” as she speed-walks through the kitchen. I’ve decided that this is probably a healthy response to a change in her surroundings, though I am mildly dismayed when she refuses to talk to me because her coworker is calling. That the entire charade has entered, like Inception, a new level of kid pretending to be at work asking if it’s okay for her kid to pretend to be at work is both a little sweet and conceptually exhausting. She has not yet given me my mid-year review, but I assume I will have some growth areas.
Speaking of growth: Kina’s Tita Cindy and Tito Giorgio sent a box that sprouts oyster mushrooms from spent coffee grounds. We’ve cut it, soaked it, and laid it on its side in our living room window. The instructions say to give it two teaspoons of water every day, and so Kina—the nation’s foremost expert on watering cans and rainbows—has converted her rainbow teapot into a watering can in which Laurea places two teaspoons of water every morning, and which Kina in turn decants onto the block of mushroom-inoculated coffee grounds. For the rest of the day, Kina asks us when the mushrooms will come, and we reply “in one or two weeks”, which the box guarantees will be the case.
While she’s generally pretty entertaining with language, there are moments that unlock a rush of dopamine and oxytocin as they give us a view of how she sees the universe—a version of the world that is not collapsing or frightening, rather nourishing and curious. It is this world, in which the sun and the moon work together to keep her baby mushrooms warm and help them grow, that I like to retreat when we write The Daily Kina every morning. Every day, it’s good to remind yourself that in a matter of weeks (maybe several weeks), the heavens will bring forth mushrooms.
I hope your mushrooms, too, will come, that your babysitters are safe, and that your rainbows are delicious. Tomorrow is one hundred.