Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I knew I was making my job obsolete enabling them to cook, clean and think for themselves. I have no way of warning anyone that it happens in a blink or a heartbeat...everything will change. They are caught in the frenetic transport of children...grimy from popsicles mixed with sand...sunscreen and exhaustion. They are caught in the cajoling to eat a carrot, love your enemy and stand up for yourself coaching... I am now acutely aware of the deafening silence. Understand this is no lament- at least not yet. Our house has been the hub of chaos. Breakfasts laced with garlic potatoes, onion and chives don our island suggesting every day was filled with abundance and laughter. Most were...I will say that... But there were many a day of a cheerio or banana breakfast. The days where morning routines were timed and fluid. Conversation limited to nods and goodbyes. Days of flurry and fury as we made our way to respective places. One year it all changed. Schedules were set aside for illness...and yet I cannot say that laughter was set aside because my memories of that time - though darker than most things - I think of as connection with my family and others that could have never happened. My youngest has the scar of that year and I will always be beholden to her for that. The quiet can be disconcerting to me now. When I awake it is not from a sound within the house but within me. I do not wallow in fear of the future or regret the past. But, I do miss things. Children delighting in coloured sugar water in a plastic case - I always felt so generous with the wide-eyed and wide smiley faces. I miss seeing the delight of accomplishing boiling an egg or buttering toast. I miss seeing their response to life on a daily basis - good, bad and ugly. Judge all you want...some of the most discerning people I know are the ones that were able to express themselves at an early age. I may miss feeling like a hero - whipping up a batch of muffins, pancakes, burritos, chile, sandwiches.....for a motley crew that conglomerate in my kitchen. I will miss the connection to the kids that lets me know that life is not all that it seems to be....kids are transparent. Kids have taught me more about who I am than most...They tell it like it is...not in judgement but in fact. I mostly love this.
Friday, August 17, 2012
...in Calgary safe and sound. Wacky, vintage loving daughter hugging curves with crazy vintage bike loving daddy. I got pictures along the way. The oasis of the Tulameen River that runs through Princeton.. I spent a Saturday languishing there, sun beating on my head and shoulders as I sat on soft rocks and visited with friends as a cold current refreshed my soul. We rode 3 hours each way for face time, and it remains as one of those defining days...sitting in a river, imbibing and then riding tricycles for adults down the streets of Princeton in search of ice cream. And now, Sambones has enjoyed the fruit of the Tulameen River. They rode on...I am sure down Old Hedley Highway with the solid yellow line because there is nowhere safe to pass.... They arrive at the lake in Penticton and they have to jump in....they have to...not just the scorching heat but the moment too...
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Costco....I will miss the weekly visits with the sporadic mid-week necessity. Costco...I will miss Johnny and finding out how your band is doing... Costco...I will miss the cutest blond girly, girl, cashier that always was so sweet and embellished with jewelry and shades of pink. Costco...I will miss long pony-tailed, grey streaked, metal guy that should scare me to look at, that I know is a softy underneath the persona. He is a big man, but I can see perfectly braided hair and that he has pride in who he is for the right reasons. Costco...I will miss pierced guy who again is one of the sweetest people. Gentle in spirit....kind...always helpful. Nose rings and spacers don your head...but you wear your heart on your sleeve. Costco...you have been part of my life for many years..30 packs of toilet tissue, mounds of bread, fruit, milk...you exposed us to things we would have never tried with samples. Some became staples..garlic aeoli...some unnecessary...jelly bellys (smile)... I visited the other day and realized this is another relationship that will change. I have no need of cases of tomato sauce and mega packs of pickles. I have no need of 1.5K of cereal or 42 granola bars. I will not be able to use 180 tablets of Advil before they expire..and why oh why would I need to buy 8 toothbrushes now? This will not be easy. Costco...you have been our date night. Laugh all you want...a lot can happen when a couple spend time decision making on large and small things. "I really want those but I really don't need them" is my typical mantra.."but what's the big deal?" he says allaying any fear of his derision... "I want those cookies...yoga pants...book....dishes... but I am going to wait" That has happened many times with both of us... The demonstration of self-control, self-regulation in a place where things are gone shortly is worth the effort to understand your partner...What has emerged from the window shopping has often been an understanding on a level that transcends the ordinary. "You want that honey - go for it" is met with "It is okay not to get what you want".. Costco has been a place to try things...buy things...remorse and return things...enjoy things and also appreciate one another that we are not frenzied consumers looking for a fix...but walking our path and seeing what we need along the way to nurture our family and friends. thanks Costco.
..and this can effect how I see things right now. How did this happen so quickly? A hub of buzzing activity, bumping into each other both day and night...waiting on showers and netflix will completely end within the next 24 hours. I can't describe all that is emerging within my throat...heart...eyes...it comes unwelcome at times...like the other night in Superstore...for no reason I find tears have spilled down my cheeks and the emotion of the moment is raw and open for all to see. I am relieved there is no death to accompany my grief. There is no sickness nor forlorn misfortunes. We are in a new stage of life. It has been happening for years...more than six in fact as our Kimee ventured to unknown corners exploring, then Jared bound for Europe and far lands both as a tourist and a rebel. Both returned and left again, more than once. This time there is a finality. A finality of the chaos, empty milk cartons in the fridge, mounds of laundry, recycling, 30 packs of toilet tissue, granola bars and spare toothbrushes. A finality that they will be now be visitors... Alighting for laundry - but leaving again...this feels weird. The poignancy of the moment can be remembered in the gathering on our living room floor between the stairs.... Something magical has always happened there. Naps, hugs, pictures, tears, arguments too...but none that I can remember. Packing has happened there....clothes and bags strewn with no semblance of order. Long, deep thoughtful talks....imbibing, jibing, laughter..laundry seems to always be folded there...the exact center of the house. Tonight was no different. Sweaters and shoes litter the floor...we are all poised to help cram as much of Samee's wardrobe into a backpack...It feels and looks impossible - but I will take credit for an optimistic spirit, for I know that much is possible that looks insurmountable. Zippers taut, a feat accomplished. My throat aches as I swallow hard to keep from crying. Kimee joins through the wonders of the internet and I see her radiant face. Her venture into biology and the likes have sparked a new spirit in her. Tomorrow I will bid adieu to Samee for Winnipeg and Jared to New West. Tomorrow will be fresh and new and although I will feel loss, there is also hope for this next part of the journey..
There is little truth to the fact that we control their lives. We think we do. We try to. In reality, we can influence but not control. We can suggest but ultimately they can neglect all wisdom and rationale as an act of defiance, independence or a momentary lapse in sanity. I was convinced this was not the case. I was sure that an endless barage of logic and sage advice would ensure that all of my wishes for them would unfold. I was persuaded by parenting books and articles that a + b = c. There are exceptions. I have observed a + b = a number of variables unrecognizable including the total being 6, which does not even compute. I have observed negligent parents be blessed beyond all with steadfast charges exuding wisdom and poise. I have observed helicopter parents produce resentful disruptive kids. Listen to your inner voice. Parent as you would like to be parented and you will be just fine...