And as I left the boy off at camp my heart felt pulled in two different directions. The first strong emotion that I felt was missing him. For the last several weeks we have only been apart for a few hours a day when he attended art camp. He was right here in Monticello surrounded by the love and safety of so many dear beloved friends of all ages. So it never really felt like he was gone. But this morning, driving all the way into the big city and walking him to Classroom A and then watching him walk through the doors leaving me standing alone in the hall way, well, I just wanted to run in there and make sure that he would have friends, that some of the teachers from last year who loved him so would be there again. That he would have fun and learn things and have friends already. But he is 11 and I did not see any familiar faces, so what a terrible way to start him off having to make all new friends again for this week by his over protective insane aunt racing him and "helping" him. Instead I turned around and walked back out to the parking lot.
As I pulled out from the dark of the parking garage and turned left to work my way out of downtown Tallahassee and head back to my home, my dogs and cats, chickens, fish and rabbits, I realized that I also had a feeling of peace. I know he will be fine, I know he will have fun, and I have a day to get things down, but also time to myself. I love having Christopher here, but he is 11 and enjoys watching the Disney channelsssss. There are an awful lot of channels for Disney. And he loves banging on the piano as he tries to pick out songs. He has a much better ear then I do. He can play the first few bars for several different songs, that he just picked at with a couple of fingers. I don't have that keen of an ability to play by ear. And I am so happy that he does. But admittedly with a small trailer house filled with labs and cats and 2 humans, the constant noise of Disney or the piano does tend to get on my already worn out nerves. I try to not let him know how I feel, because he is a very sensitive person and it would take a lot of enjoyment and freedom he has to just be a kid here if I said anything.
To watch TV that is appropriate, if not loud and for the most part inane to me, and to play the harmonica, bang on the piano, play with the dogs and cats, perch on the arm of my red chair as we watch Doctor Who and he explains about all the characters and histories of the show. I love having him here and the fact that I can ask him to give me an hour to just have both of us sit and read, and that although he will not be totally engrossed reading and quiet, he will try hard to do that. But right now, all I hear is the breathing of my labs, the purr of a cat, the whir of cicadas, and noises and songs of various birds as they feed their young and search for food.
The sunlight outside my door beckons me to bend over and pull weeds that are taking over all of my gardens. To fill buckets with them and empty them into a freshly cleaned chicken coop. But that would mean getting up and changing into work clothes and cleaning the chicken coop and then pulling the weeds. And as much as my heart says, yes, my head says, slow down, there is time. First right your post, answer some emails, pay a few bills. Then you can go outside for an hour or so and work in the yard. Then come back in, fix some lunch and do a little cleaning before going to pick up the boy. To take him to see Harry Potter with my friend Bob from work. We will probably go to the 3D show because of timing. I could care less about 3D, but I am sure that Christopher loves it. Boys of his age seem to think 3D is as natural as color movies.
And the heat of the day is settling into its pattern, but the hope of rain fills the air with a thick humidity that adds more golden to the sunshine. My children are adapting to the puppy. And Ednarose is growing up so quickly. Yesterday she looked so long and square, like a fur covered block of wood, today her legs have sprouted overnight giving her a more balanced look and her paws trip her up as they also seemed to have doubled in size in just 24 hours. Sleeping is still a challenge with her, but she can sleep for 5 hours or so in a night. She is so sweet and affectionate which would warm my heart if not for the sharpness of the baby teeth. She is a baby and tests her world like all babies by chewing and biting. She learns each day what she is not allowed to chew or bite, and what is acceptable, but by the next morning the lesson has been lost and must be relearned again.
Marina is still living in the house. This is almost a month now that she has not left the house. That is a record for her since we have lived here. She is sleeping on my lap now, so sweet and peaceful. The same creature that took a swipe at Christopher yesterday because he stood too close to where she was sleeping. She did not break the skin, but she scared the life out of him. He has always been nervous of the quiet strange creature that can take your arm off as quickly as she can surprise you in bed snuggled up next to you acting like a perfect little black angel. But for now she is doing her impression of loving, and like the hot golden sunshine, not something you get to enjoy everyday, so I will appreciate and be grateful for the awareness of it for this moment.
We have one, maybe 2 rehearsals left for the play. I am exhausted from all the life I have lived these past several weeks, and will be happy when this production is ended and the stage lights are turned off for the last time on the Sunday matinee. But as I tell Christopher's parents, he is not wearing me out, it is my own self that is doing this. And we are usually the first and the last actors to show up for rehearsal and then leave with the Director and Stage Manager. All the things in my life right now, I am completely aware of how I have invited them in. That I have chosen to take the responsibility for them, good or bad. And at this very moment, I feel such joy and peace and happiness as I sit in my red chair and look out the front door at all the sunshine and millions of shades of green. Today is my own, and this afternoon I will go and pick up the boy and get to do things to bring him happiness. And I will be right there next to him as he is happy and looks up at me with that smile. Those eyes so alive and blue surrounded by dark lush long lashes. Such intelligence and happiness.
Life is so rich and full and I have filled mine with such love and happiness, real, passing and even some only imagined. I miss Ms Moon in Asheville. I am worried about my Vicki and the health issue she is dealing with this week. I miss my Dad. And all of these things mixed in with just the sheer joy and splendor of the day fills me with gratefulness for a life balanced with joy and worry, love and longing. Happiness and reality and imagination.