“Stop saying that!” You shout at daddy who is leaning over the gate in the play yard with the phone to his ear. You are unaware that the shouts and swearing are directed at your mommy in Montana. He’s filed for divorce. He’s tired, overwhelmed and seems clear that he’s finished with the relationship. But never finished with kids that they share. I told Mommy that I can’t talk to her about any of this. I will talk about you and Sissy, I tell her. I am sorry buddy that she never even asks. She says she will come back on Halloween.
Because of you and your sister, daddy can’t really close the door to mommy as he tells me he wants to do. Not all the way anyway. You knew that he was mad and that’s what you want to stop. It worries you. You may even know its about mommy. Each day you are ready to understand more about this complicated life. You ask important and big questions, and small ones, too. In the car you ask them, What if a meteorite hits the earth today? How come the fog is on the sea and not up here? Why do I have to wait to be five? How many days is Halloween going to be here. Hours? Seconds? Why don’t boy birds have a penis? Why do I?
This is your first Halloween. The first one you can claim as yours. Your school has a spooky potluck on Friday; a costume party. We found a used dinosaur costume. I started planning your sunflower costume until daddy suggested you be a dinosaur. Sissy is happy just being Liza, but I found a tiny triceratops hat and jammies, so she can choose to wear it if she wants. She won’t.
She has a cold; drippy, cranky, tantrum filled days and sleepless nights. She’s cutting teeth- 2 yr old molars. Sharing a room leaves you sleepless, too. In the old house, when we return, you’ll have two beds, not bunkbeds, but still share. It will be fine, the sharing. The beds were delivered last week, set up and mattresses ordered. To keep them clean, I covered them and to keep the covers clean, I put on the sheets and to keep the sheets clean added the spread. So now your beds are fully made. You both snuggle in whenever we work there, Sissy chanting “mine’s” as she dives into the soft colorful flannel sheets. We brought a play table, some toys and games from this house to occupy you as I work. I vacuumed and washed out all the drawers in the kitchen, bathrooms and put towels in the cabinets.
You two took a bath there the other day. The tub is in the main bath and originally a jacuzzi for me to get a soft massage. But its your bathroom now. The machine roars to life and the bubbles massage and pummel your skin. You say they tickle. Not so for Sissy. They make her scream. Separate bath times from now on I guess. Towels washed folded now damp on the new towel racks. Its begun. Our living in this house again has begun.
We hope to get the stove in and have Thanksgiving at the house. Ellie’s favorite hide spot will be filled by a dishwasher next week. As I wash, vacuum and survey the new spaces, My palms and fingers trace each baseboard, knob, pull and finished surface…an act of bonding. You seem to be doing the same with all of the new buttons, switches and handles installed to operate water, lights and locks. You teach me what to watch out for later; keep an ice pick handy, a bobby pin and screwdriver, install some door protectors, safety latches. Mostly I don’t think while in the space, I feel. I feel the new air captured by the multi-dimensional structure we built here, the envelope of color, natural materials and the layout to cocoon us. Wrap us in warm woods, bathe us in light and shower us with bigness of tall living space. Its the same size by clean and updated. Tall ceilings give us abundance of area, the space we’d lived for 11 years. But new. You must feel so small in there. You dash and climb making it yours in your own way. In your own time. Sissy sits in the cupboards. Size-appropriate bonding.
You eat your jam and peanut butter sandwich, beans soak for tonight’s dinner and Lizzy thankfully snoozes. Things awaken her too easily. We are quiet, you with a planet earth DVD, me here pecking and the chickens struggling for nest box turns. They each lay an egg a day now, big healthy fluffy girls. We need to finish their coop at the new old house before we move. Aubrey, age 29, her daughter, age 8 and son age 18 mos will move in and help with the kids. We are all practicing for those days now with play dates and school pick up turns. I am so happy that you and Liza will have Aubrey in your lives. She refers to herself as a mama bear. And she is. We are so luck to have found her.
I am babbling here a bit. So I’ll close and eat something. I sometimes forget to do that until I get dizzy. Losing weight is good, but I have to work on my diet. Eating better, not more. Let’s stay on track for healthy foods, buddy. As we talk together about choices for meals, you learn. Now you can help me to eat all of my food, too. (Sometimes while you two eat, I dash around and get things done). Talk later gma