Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Storm clouds threaten behind the Holiday sign on Highway 3. Beside the gas station, the old dairy is transforming into a brewery. Milk into beer. I just dropped you off at daycare in a collared shirt, striped green and orange and brown. You didn't wave at the window, instead poked at the air you were holding in your cheek.
It is suddenly summer. The last few days the heat has crept in so that sitting it direct sunlight feels overwhelming. We blazed from 60 degree weather into 80, from teaching and grading to the roomier expanse of summer thinking time.
It feels like whiplash. The movement from structured time to unstructured time, from forcing my brain to consider annotated bibliographies to trying to let my brain swim around, to do the work of play.
Last night your sister threw an epic tantrum, as she is wont to do. We sent her to her room until she could calm down but she wailed. I wrote her a note telling her how much we loved her, how much we would enjoy talking to her once she was calm. We sat down to dinner. Tofu I'd marinated and baked so that it might potentially be palatable. Purple cabbage and carrots and broccoli and asparagus and red pepper tossed in teriyaki sauce. Rice and soy sauce for the pickier members of the family. You wanted Vitamin water and Daddy wouldn't let you have any so you pouted on the living room sofa, turning the light floor switch on and off with your toe. Meanwhile, Thisbe screamed and beat the floor with her heels upstairs. Navy blue fiestaware bowls in front of your father and I. Quiet nowhere.
Then this morning you and your sister crept downstairs to play but instead returned with plates for Daddy and I filled with cold buttered toast and dollops of yogurt and berries. Then two cups of coffee, mine with cream, Daddy's decaf (???). Thisbe was so pleased she twirled in our room, pointed each toe this way and that.
Last Thursday your cousin Paris entered the world, full head of black hair, covered with white waxy vernix, lighting her mother's face as soon as her new body landed on Agnes' chest. Now Greg and Agnes are in newborn time. Bubbles of sleep punctuated with feeding. Those blocks of nothing that contain everything. The world is your own and then the world is not your own.
In March I somehow managed to get the best agent ever. And now that book is out with editors which means the next month will be marked with the rise of hope and the fall of rejection. And also marked with trying to turn myself, again and again, from the superficial excitement/anxiety of the submission process toward the things that matter: you and your sister, the blank page, the aching parts of our world.
And you, sweet boy, because you are a toddler contain moments of whiplash, too. When your sister left this morning you sobbed because you wanted a dance party. I relented. So you put on an Elsa dress and bounced around to the tune of "If I Had a Million Dollars." I tried to dance, too, but you insisted I watch from the couch and so I did. You twirled and twirled in all that tulle until the song ended and the cheering faded. Then you climbed into the car and I passed you a sacred "no fussing" jellybean and we made our way from the last wisps of blue sky into the distant rumbles of thunder.