unexpected girls in the morning for breakfast; watermelon and english muffins and eventually everyone moved on and tim and russell and anna and i went all the way clear to the bronx (practically) to get a bike promised to her on april 2.
then in lieu of me folding the rest of the laundry i walked around the house and shot up a pack of peel-apart and yes, this is not earth-shattering stuff, not even well done for that matter, but it is just exactly how our sunday felt.
when it was my turn to come upstairs and say goodnight to her
he looked back at us in the room and said why
not get under the covers.
i stood up and offered to tuck her in
and she said no
she wanted to stay on top.
so i picked up the covers at the corner
and drew them up across her
came in close and whispered
"do you know what i used to call this when you were a baby?"
and she said without missing a beat
and then she said
"i also like warm sprite. i don't know why."
and i said
"when i was little and i was sick, uncle brian brought me ginger ale."
"i like that too."
"uncle brian was a good big brother."
i grew up with four older brothers determining much of my earliest musical memories by default.
it ran the gamut in our house from southern rock (marshall tucker, charlie daniels, allman brothers, nrbq...) to early dylan and beatles, to the more obscure (poco, traffic, nitty gritty dirt band, aztec two step, pousette dart...)
and then of course, van morrison, cat stevens, and james taylor loomed large. this was the seventies after all, so tom petty, pink floyd, and jackson brown showed up too. a lot.
i can tell you what's on aja vs. katy lied, and have a working knowledge of the buffalo springfield legacy.
i don't know what any of this is worth to me or anyone now, but i've been thinking a lot about how i grew up lately. watching the kids out in the creek with their bows and arrows and makeshift quivers i can't help but suddenly shake loose in my head a long string of images of make-believe in the woods behind the lakes, of eating onion grass, and playing baseball in the orchard with apple trees as bases.
one day a few years ago i put the chalkboard from the gallerywindow in our dining room,
and there it sits.
other than the sign now hanging in our garage, it's one of the only reminders of that other life of ours.
when i'm at work, it's quiet and orderly. no one yells. ever. i pass people in the hall and get or give a polite hello or maybe nothing. i walk back and forth for tea, water, to a meeting.
but i get distracted by my own thoughts. miss the girls. need tim. turn my head back towards the screen and get absorbed for a few more hours and then i check the time and realize school is out, start feeling guilty and anxious about where they all are.
at home, everyone yells. happy shouting. angry quarrels over whatever. scolding the pets. calling for dinner. i retrace their steps, putting the books back on the shelf, the mug in the sink, straightening the tablecloth. trying to maintain small quarters of calm, order. then my computer chimes and i check my email, start feeling guilty and anxious about what i should be doing at work.
i'm never completely where i'm supposed to be. and i hate that.
but it's friday, and i'm home, and i'll do a little work and take the girls out for a while and walk charlie and be me for a couple of days. then on monday, i'll go back to work, and put my head down and set things right there again.