Tuesday last….Uncle AJ came back from New York yesterday all trained up (well, sort of), and spends this week in San Jose with another company guy from Los Gatos , then buys a work car, drives to Manhattan Beach and seeks housing. He’ll get paid pretty soon and that’s the point of work (kind of) and he is also enthusiastic about his new work. That’s another important part of growing up. Feeling proud and productive. All of this exciting new job news for AJ, while your daddy hasn’t been called for guard duty even once in two weeks.
Mommy and Daddy have no money, no food and a tiny bit of gas when they coasted in yesterday. We sold the drum kit and I gave them $200 cash until the ck. clears. Mommy lost her Medi-Cal and is very sad. I think things are getting harder for them. Sometimes hard makes us change to make things better. Let’s hope that this difficulty pushes mommy to find help-any kind. She needs to stop folding up and hiding and reach out, walk, look at herself in the long run and know that training is key for a job, for a life. We went through the refrigerator, the cans cupboard and noodle basket filling a bag with foods for them. But they wanted $60 for a stove top burner. I asked them to look at thrift shops. That’s too much money, I had to tell them. But I shouldn’t have. Your mommy was mad at me, at the county and the world yesterday. She and daddy are really struggling and each decision is too hard for them.
As for you, gymnastics started today and I will go down and pick you up pretty soon. Gina took you because a new contractor was here and grandpa is out of town again. He’ll be back on Thursday then we go to Seattle for a nephew’s wedding (grandpa’s sister’s son) Christopher Takahashi and Elaine Huang. We’ll stay in a fancy hotel. You and Sissy are going to the fancy wedding at a tennis club. I bet they don’t belong to the club, but maybe. It will be night so we will have to hope it all works out. You are excited about your shirt and pants like grandpa’s. I got Ellie a few little dresses at the used clothing store and forgot to think about my dress. Hmmm. I forgot to get them a gift, too. Maybe we can get that later today. After gymnastics.
Wednesday: We miss grandpa. A grandpa who feels so overwhelmed by this daddy role with both of you that I think he prefers to be gone. Its hard for him to adapt to some of this new life with you guys when he’s not here. Since he doesn’t hang out to adapt, adjust or modify his thinking, he is a little out of step. He does not yet tolerate most of what I (we) do all day. The gap between us enlarges weekly. He does his thing and I do ours. Similar to when your daddy and AJ were young, but I am less inclined to help gpa build relationships (spend time) than I was with your daddy’s dad and his boys. Somehow it seems an unfair expectation for Grandpa. But this isn’t working well for us, (Me and he) either. Gotta get us all re-calibrated. This family seems temporary, but may not be. And that’s hard on all of us. Need to get into the big house get the nanny family here to have more daily support, parenting help and daily freedoms for grandpa and I to sit together again, read, chat, plan and just be together, etc. (Now that your mom and dad are gone we don’t have the spur of the moment coverage.) And we won’t move until after September. So meanwhile….
Both of you have colds, four days old. You went to a stimulating (a bit too long) gym class and were exhausted, overwhelmed, a bit crazed. And ran it off at the beach while we waited to pick up Liza. She stayed home today, you too. I am the booger monitor, catching fat green worms that explode out your faces, sopping spills, sippy cups of water and slicing fruits for you to gobble between sneezes.
Monday: We went to Seattle and made it back and are back in four pieces. (maybe more). It was a hell trip. But had some lovely moments. (Shitty trip, with a few good parts-much like the coyote crap on my driveway this morning slimy poo but with visible whole acorns and apple chunks still available for yet another meal). I got sick and resorted to a rare behavior in myself-I actually took cold medicine. You were impatient with all the necessary restrictions of travel; seat trays that mustn’t go up and down, up and down, lack of leg room no allowance for kicking the lady in front of us one more time, other people pushing the elevator buttons first. Waiting and waiting, sitting still and what? No running? You were delighted with the monorail, space needle and children’s museum and the pool. Liza was mostly contrary, doing every misbehavior again after you did it first. She was delighted with familiar snacks I brought along, O’s, squeeze bag smoothies, her night night tea, her blankie, the pool, the train and our rental car’s plush carseat…Ahhhh. Her favorite word was No, like the staccato of a machine gun, fired at anyone who looked at her. Often accompanied by slapping hands and head twisted away. Throwing shoes into aisles, under seats, out of car windows. A wild cat of a girl. She reminded us that we can’t do this much longer. Really. Pretty fed up. With my own giving up not an option. Maybe not with your either.
For respite, to capture my own time, meet a tiny bit of my own need for order and peace, I watch the fireplace going up-the stones set into their places, cut, chipped, placed, then mortared, each stone selected for each particular space. The mantle laying atop, leveled, re-set and leveled again. There’s angle iron hiding in back, slots to set the heavy ones on and bolts to invisibly anchor. Beautiful craftsmanship, thoughtful and deliberate craftspeople, two guys from Mexico. Part of a small business owed by a local fellow, Drummond, Masonry, who appreciates teamwork, artistic negotiation, customer involvement and his 19 guys. Surely we got the best ones! I want to put my hands in the mud and work along side. Teach me to do it, I say.
The fireplace veneer (real rocks and river stones set on the surface of the actual fireplace a modern and green steel firebox) and the resulting stone hearth is my metaphor of the day. Its a stream bed, a canyon wall, a vacation from the couches and toastie O’s, diapers, toy airplanes and dollies, even the new house wallboard, fir casings and concrete porch pour. The stone is natural, flows in organic patterns, and whispers of the water ways that once shaped the stones. I am at peace here. Grandpa is too.
The fireplace starts with messy piles of unsorted rocks, bags of mortar mix, powders, hoses, buckets, carts, dirty shovels, scrapers, levels, string, knives, trowels and shapers and all gathered for the purpose of making this art piece. I like to stop and appreciate each portion of the process. It heals me, reassures, centers and anchors. Hand building does that. Kids are aware of that. You certainly are. The science museum near the space needle was your time. Grandpa watched with patient understanding as you did things again and again. At your own pace. Liza found the low access water way with the boats and balls was content for the day. I find the mud and mortar and the round rocks placed in there erupting out of the flat plane of the rock next to it. Am delighted by each stone.
The livingroom is a mess. I love it. I want to find clay and throw a pot alongside the workmen. I long for time to creatively shape something. Add a round stone next to a surprisingly flat horizontal and pushed up next to a sharp corner. Resonance of spirit. I am mortar, the craftsman, the chiseler, cutter, the mason; you the rocks, and the fireplace our hearth, our art, heart. Come sit beside me and warm your feet. I long for that moment, the time that’s not now. The time that we build for. It offers a place to sit. And notice each stone.