Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Remembering... (SoLS)

Much has changed for us lately: we are preparing to close on our new home (!), we are fixing to ditch this tiny apartment and rescue most of our belongings from storage (!!), I started school yesterday, and my excited toddler began a preschool/daycare combo at a local church since he is the ripe, old age of three.  Yes, a rolling stone gathers no moss; so, I guess, that makes us...moss-less.

Except, for all those times we stop and remember...what things used to be like.  You know, the summer things.

I'll admit -- when the heavenly harp strum on my iPhone alarm lulls me out of a deep slumber each morning now at 5:30, my dreaming really encompasses cuddling on the couch with Reid for PBS cartoons and trying to pretend that "The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That" theme song isn't...well...catchy enough to sing while I waste the morning away in my jammies.

I think Reid remembers the summer life too.  Yesterday afternoon when I picked him up from daycare, his teacher informed me that he was "deep in thought" during lunch; so far away, indeed, that she asked him, "Reid, what are you thinking about?"  She giggled as she prepared to provide me his curt and detached response, "I'm not thinking of anything."  (Which I knew, by the way, was a complete rouse -- he is a thinker.)

Once in the car, I conducted my own interview with the tousled hair, backseat passenger: "Reid, your teacher said you were thinking about something at lunch.  What were you thinking about?"  With no delay, his tender, contemplative response leveled me.

"I was thinking of you, Mommy.  I miss YOU," his small voice offered.

With wet eyes, I drove the three minutes home...flipping through my mental card catalog of summertime joys.  The truth: at lunch yesterday, I sat thinking too: of toddler silverware and compartmentalized melamine plates, and of the warm milk, stories, and nap that always followed, and of the times he told me, "You're my friend, Mommy." 

So, we change.  Our schedule.  Our address.  Our hours.  Our ages.  We gather no moss; we just keep rolling.  Even though we do, there are still the memories which tether our hearts...begging us to stop and dally in what was, to reassure what is, and, to dream of what will be again.

Write on,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just listen...

Today, I went on a lunch date...
with my son.
He chose McDonald's,
I chose to have the crispy fries this time.
We sat, without booster,
in a booth that had nice, high surrounds
with enough space to roam.
We sat, chomping on cheeseburgers
and flipping our fries.
But, then, I realized my need for a peaceful lunch
led me into a selfish choice.
Our six-person booth could accommodate
the five lunching ladies who jockeyed their trays and conversations
between two tables across from us.
My heart prodded,
"B, give them the table; it's the loving thing to do."
My mind characteristically rebutted,
"He's sitting; he NEVER sits independent of 
one high chair's snappy strap.  And, he's eating this time.
One more change will upset the apple cart."
We stayed.  
I almost couldn't bear 
the furtive glances laced with discontent,
directed at our happy haven.

And, next, we jaunted through the grocery store.
Just for some odds and ends.
With an unusually meager cart
(and a tired toddler as the naptime window approached),
I wavered between the express and unlimited lanes
convincing myself,
"there couldn't be more than 25 items to ring...
...the cashier will probably have pity on me and help."
She did;
I arranged the packages in rows of five to slide down the conveyer belt.
At five rows, I quit counting.
My eyes, downcast, embarrassed.
My heart prodded,
"B, the people behind you don't have anywhere near 20 items...
and now you're making them wait when they clearly got in line here 
for convenience."
My head said,
"But, she's doing a good deed for me.  
She's empathetic and has nappers at home."
The line lingered, the bags accumulated.  
A humble, "Thank you for helping me out today,
I underestimated my purchases," 
ended the transaction.

Twice, in one hour,
I made the selfish choice
to look out for me,
for my time,
for my sanity,
for my well being.
And, both times,
my choices hurt:
my son
because there are
lessons I want to teach him
about being
and generous
and sharing
and honest
and respectful.

That voice,
that little voice,
inviting me into 
and sharing
and honesty
and respect
was there.
Next time, I should be a better listener.

Write on,