The weather is mimicking my moods, or else perhaps my mood is being influenced by the barometer. The temperature soars to a stifling 95 or so, and just when the air is so sodden it seems it must crash down around our ears, it does. Thunderstorms; brief but intense. One minute, all is calm… the next, the thunder and driving rain are deafening.
The storm passes. The sun comes out again, and the earth dries out. And the temperature begins its slow creep towards the breaking point, again.
Mother Nature has an odd sense of humor.
Saturday was hot and sunny and soothing. A day’s worth of chores that would’ve left me overwhelmed, on my own, turned into a day of great productivity with expert assistance. (We have decided that my sometimes-visitor needs a blog-worthy moniker. As of this afternoon, we’ve settled on DOG*. See footnote.)
Snippets from the day:
DOG: So when was the last time you cleaned out your gutters?
DOG: Have you EVER cleaned out your gutters?
Me: You’re funny!
DOG: You are PITIFUL. Where’s your ladder?
DOG: You have three wasps nests up here.
Me: Get down.
DOG: Eh, it’s fine, I’m over here, I don’t think I’m bothering them.
Me: GET. DOWN.
DOG: I’m FINE.
Me: Okay, well, I’m gonna go mow so that I can’t hear you when you SCREAM.
DOG: Okay, let me do the rest.
Me: No, I’m fine, I’m just taking a break. Having some water. Have some water!
DOG: Thanks. I’ll do the rest.
Me: Noooo, I’m fine.
DOG: Yes, I know, you’re fine. You’ve proven yourself a capable, independent woman! Congratulations! You mowed half the yard! I’m impressed! Now go away!
Me: You’re so cute when you’re a neanderthal.
Yes, it was lovely. Topped off with chinese take-out and a movie, curled up on the couch. Perfect, no? It really was.
Until about ten minutes into the movie. Sudden change of weather, you might say. In fact, I like that. Sounds so much less pathetic than saying “I had a panic attack.” Really, “I experienced a sudden change of weather” sounds much less disturbing. A sudden change of weather could be surprising, and inconvenient, but probably a little less frightening and embarrassing.
See, after that great day on Saturday, I’d figured that maybe I was “over” whatever triggered all that weirdness last week. Guess not. So the day came to a screeching halt. I retreated to bed ridiculously early, unwilling to tempt fate (I might feel better… or I might feel worse).
Sunday was spent doing a whole lot of nothing, and tiptoeing around hoping that I would stay sane. Hahaha! Who wants to come for a visit, next? It’s loads of fun around here!
Well, I may have been freaking out just a wee, tiny bit because it was time for DOG to meet the kids. At the appointed time on Sunday night, we retrieved them from my ex. It was actually pleasantly anti-climactic.
DOG and the ex shook hands. This is one of the signs of the apocalypse, by the way.
The kids bounded into the car, eager to go have hotdogs at their favorite diner. I can’t say they were good at dinner, but I think I only used the phrase “try to pretend you weren’t raised by wolves” just once. Monkey asked me to take him to the bathroom and I left Chickadee with the admonition to keep an eye on DOG for me. When we returned to the table, Chickadee gleefully blurted out, “DOG threw Monkey’s fork on the floor!”
I glanced back of forth between the two of them. They were both grinning and DOG was shaking his head. “Did not,” he countered.
“Yes you DID!” squealed Chickadee. “He did, Mama. He doesn’t have very good table manners.”
“Yeah,” DOG admitted, “she said she’s gonna write a letter to my MOM to tell her I don’t behave well at the table. But I didn’t throw Monkey’s fork! It fell.”
“While you were DRUMMING on the TABLE!” Chickadee was triumphant. DOG had just made a friend for life. We gave Monkey a new fork and all was well for about a minute.
This diner plays loud 50s and 60s rock music. First Monkey started chanting “wiggy wiggy wiggy” and swaying in his seat. Then Chickadee started swinging her head side to side, first with the beat and then just with wild headbanger abandon. “Guys, settle down,” I exhorted a couple of times. They continued. I looked across the table at DOG in frustration, and he smiled at me and joined the kids in grooving to the music.
Home again, I got the kids ready for bed, and we all piled on the couch to read. After a few high-fives for DOG, the kids followed me upstairs and I tucked them in. They were asleep in no time. We adults congratulated ourselves on a successful evening, while recounting the important information the kids had felt the need to relay (Monkey told DOG all about his girlfriend, J, and various superheroes, while Chickadee preferred to brag about school).
This morning, the kids begged to be allowed to storm the guest room and wake DOG. I managed to dissuade them… but I was feeling sort of shaky. I got them packed off to school and came home and went back to sleep.
Today was hard. The day he leaves is always hard, but today was even harder because I’m still waiting for some sort of divine signal that Oh yeah, that little period of INSANITY is over now! (No, I have no idea what that sign might look like. Pretty sure it hasn’t happened yet.) But, I got through the day, made the trip the airport, said our goodbyes, and went to fetch the kids. The evening went by quickly.
Tonight I sat with Monkey a minute before bed, and he worked his fingers into my hair and said, “I am going to MARRY J when I’m old enough. I think when I’m 16.” I suggested he wait a little bit longer for marriage, reminding him that they could probably just keep dating for a while. “Mama, who’s your boyfriend?” Monkey asked.
“Hmmmmm. Who do you think? Do I have a boyfriend?”
“Yes, you do,” Monkey told me as if I was slightly retarded. “I think DOG is your boyfriend.”
“Oh. Hmmm. Maybe. Would that be okay with you?”
“Yeah. But you don’t know yet if you’re going to marry him.” He wasn’t looking at me, but concentrating on curling my hair around his fingers.
“That’s right, sweetie.” It felt like I should say something else, but I wasn’t sure what.
“Yeah,” he went on in that same off-handed way, “because you’re not old enough yet.” I laughed and he was startled, but soon joined me.
“I was already married once, remember?” I tickled him under his chin and he squirmed. “I’m old enough. Just dunno if I’m SMART enough, yet.” Monkey found this hilarious, and giggled his way into bed.
I wondered if I’d face a similar inquisition from Chickadee, but she was only interested in having me try to wiggle all of her teeth to find out which ones might be loose. She’s either still processing or is in fact a Pod Chickadee. But who knows… it’s just been a very weird week all around.
Now I’m alone again; the kids are in bed; the latest storm has just passed and I can still hear thunder in the distance.
I don’t know what happens next, or when. I’d love to believe that Saturday night was my last, er, sudden change of weather. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. I have too many good reasons to get myself together to not just carry an umbrella and hope for the best.
* DOG: an acronym I may or may not clarify at a later date. Also I may send a prize to the person who correctly guesses what it stands for.