Sunday, March 15, 2009

Back to Center

I do not want the weekend to end. The world has evolved and changed so much over the past month. Can it be a month already since I was laid off from Cooper Clinic? My life looks and tastes strange to me since the New Year, when everything seemed to toss up into the air and fall willy nilly out of place, leaving us to pick through the punctuation points, like putting a room back to rights after a minor earthquake. This weekend felt more like home, more like us, and going back to the strangeness is a reluctant undertaking. I am sure more and more time will pass and with it more and more assimilation will be made until the abnormal again feels normal. I have done it enough times in my life to know, like it or not, normalcy will come.

It has been a good weekend. The sun coming out today welcomed in a bright finish to a reconnecting in my household that was needed. Saturday started out rather grim. Alexander is getting bigger, a fact that I somewhat consciously tend to look away from. I am not ready for his dimples to charm the face of a young man instead of a boy and I struggle against the changing planes of his rapidly maturing features and demeanor. He comes out of bed in the morning less often for a snuggle and kisses and more often with a simple "Hi" as he plunks to the floor nearby. He made my shit-list by proceeding to headbutt me instead of kissing my cheek when I tapped my request with a fingertip, bruising my ego and motherly feelings far more than my cheekbone, though that too hurt from the unexpected assault. A stern lecture later lead to tears on his part, leaving me crabby and dark for the most of the day. I spent it in a dervish of cleaning and laundry, but the moodiness never really left me. A fourth day of gray spittle did nothing to help me elevate and I altered between annoyance at all around me and annoyance at myself for my fussiness. Its the kind of thing that haunts later on when life takes unexpected turns and I dislike myself mightily when I give in to it. Its honestly been a long, long time since I have.

Things got better later in the day; Joe took me out for a while to shop for books and run some errands. We've not had a lot of unstructured time alone lately due to circumstances of grief camp and school, so socializing together in a romantic way (well, romantic for US anyway) elevated both of our moods. We checked out the library in Allen for the first time since moving here and that seemed to pull from long memories deep in the past when Mom took me as a girl in the summer time, every two weeks like clockwork. Something in my soul just lets down in the presence of books; the smell alone has a soothing effect on me and I came home settled and happier. I made chicken parmesan for our family dinner along with lemon-steamed broccoli. I noted that its also hard to be a grump when three men are singing your praises and filling their bellies with gusto. I impressed myself by managing to make chocolate chip pecan oatmeal cookies while also cooking dinner, and we finished up the evening watching Nim's Island (a truly bad, bad film. Shame on Jodi Foster for accepting the role) as a family and nibbling fresh cookies together. Of course, Joe and I spent a good part of the movie pantomiming different ways to off ourselves as we struggled to stay in the family spirit. The boys enjoyed the film quite a bit. I think imagination and editing abilities of youth are far more forgiving. I don't do as well with whimsy as I used to. Despite the film's suckdom, the day ended much better than it began and by the time I dropped the boys off at their dad's again this afternoon life seemed right again and joyful. The sun came out and Joe took me down to Northpark Mall to buy henna for my hair and browsed around with me awhile. All the spring fashions are coming out, something that I always find energizing. We came home to our books and each other, opened a decent bottle of wine (Frei Brothers Reserve 2006), made spanish rice and a tri-tip on the grill and fell into the somewhat lately-lost routine of counting our blessings and enjoying the gift of companionable silence. It leaves me reluctant to brave the world again tomorrow, but at least I know I can always come back here to this place, where my kids are content, I have emotional equilibrium and a man who draws smiles from me of all kinds.

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