Sometimes I find myself being impatient with my children when they are slow to change behavior that has already proven counterproductive. To wit: Monkey does NOT like it if he is the last one upstairs on school mornings. You’d think this would compel him to get ready faster, but you’d be wrong. What it DOES cause him to do is pitch a great big hairy hissy fit when he realizes that I am packing lunches and Chickadee is eating breakfast and he is standing at the top of the stairs, alone and naked save for the underwear on his head. It’s becoming a problem.
And honestly, I have no idea where he gets that. Make the same mistake over and over, and then cry about the results? That’s just dumb. And so completely foreign to me. Ahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Sorry. I really thought I was going to manage that one with a straight face, but ummmm, no.
[For you, Dad: Why do I keep banging my head against this wall? Because it feels so good when I finally stop!]
The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. For days now the rain has fallen. Sometimes a pounding, driving drumming on the roof and windows… more often, a drizzle that just makes the air thick and damp.
This kind of weather lulls me into a comfortable melancholy. I feel slow and nostalgic and want nothing more than to cocoon and hide. I find myself remembering. Constantly. The drone of the rain hypnotizes me and in my head I replay movies of the past. Movies of when I made the same mistake, over and over, and ended up wondering how it happened. I am changing; but that’s not what I think about on rainy days. On rainy days it takes all of my energy to fight the urge to sleep. Escape.
I wonder if my children are similarly affected. I suspect that they are; both are a bit out of sorts and just slower than usual.
Last night Chickadee complained that she was tired of rain. As I tucked her in I shushed her. “Listen,” I whispered. “Listen for the pattern.” We sat there in the dark together. My fingers on her chest tapped out a pitter-patter of rain on top of her heartbeat, and she smiled and relaxed under my hand. This afternoon–when her frustration over writing out various facts about the endangered kiwi reached fever pitch–I pulled her onto my lap and held her while we watched the rivulets on the windows, and listened, together.
It’s still raining. Part of me still wants to hibernate. But a larger part of me is seeing–and celebrating–progress.
For one thing, Chickadee’s project on the kiwi bird is nearly complete. I just need to buy her a piece of poster board tomorrow to arrange her little fact groups on. Chickadee worked really hard on this. More importantly, perhaps, my ex worked with her on it all weekend, and I worked with her today, and goshdarnit if it hasn’t been just one big happy collaborative effort. If those kiwis could talk, they would praise us all for our cooperative spirits. Right after they asked why we keep shoving toothpicks in them, that is.
For another thing, I got something really, really cool in the mail today.
I sat with it at the kitchen table for a while, considering framing it. Eventually I decided against it, for obvious reasons.
Today I got my first check for work performed as a freelancer. (I couldn’t figure out a way to both frame it AND cash it, see?) There are other checks on the way, but this is the very first one.
You know, it DOES feel really good when I take a break from smashing my head into that wall.