Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Being thankful for all the fish

"Let's sit in here, honey, this is your chair
No, kitty's afraid when you shout
Oh, it's okay, it was old anyway
And the other one washes right out."

Well, that went by fast.

Thanksgiving came and went.

My kids were here and now they're gone again. Gone home to their own homes and lives.

I've run the dishwasher more times in five days than I usually do in a month. Laundry is cycling. I've reclaimed my room, where Ryland slept on the pull-out sofa, in soft pink sheets and his mom's old dance team blanket.

The house is quiet. Neil is cheerful again.

This house really wasn't built for six adults and a toddler.

Neil was tense, as he always is when we have people at the house, and behaved a bit oddly, which I tried mostly to ignore.

Still, we had an amazing time. All the kids pitched in to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone was helpful with the cleanup, although obviously a lot fell to me because it's my house and I have my way that I want things done.

Later on I'll start to reclaim my refrigerator, although the kids made serious inroads on the leftovers, thank goodness.

I gave my housekeeper 3/4 of our chocolate cream pie from Goode Company. I'm the only one who liked it but I still didn't want to eat all the rest of it, especially since we still have pumpkin and pecan to finish.

My grandson was nothing but joy and light and laughter. We took him to the Houston Museum of Natural Science Sugar Land, which is in walking distance from our house, but we drove anyway. We took him on long walks, to the playground, to feed the ducks.

We took him to Bahama Bucks and the grocery store and the bagel place. We took him out to eat at Sweet Tomatoes and Guru and Goode Company Taqueria. We took him to The Chocolate Bar - and even timed it right for 50 percent off chocolate covered fruit after 8 pm.

There's a banana, orange and strawberry with my name on them in the fridge right now.


We could have done more, but coordinating seven people for any activity is like herding cats. We think we're ready but then someone has to go to the bathroom and by the time they are out we've lost two others. I didn't mind the down time. I was exhausted enough by bedtime every night.

We watched all eight episodes of Stranger Things even though four of us already had seen it. You do notice more details the second time you watch it.

I gave away seven pairs of brand new shoes that I'll never wear. My daughter said if they don't work for her she will sell them online. The handoff of possessions has begun.

I also handed off $200 to my other daughter who had last minute car trouble and had to rent a car to get here safely.

We bored everyone with the floorplan of our new house and photos of our lot and pictures of our cabinets and light fixtures and backsplashes.

And then whiz, bang, boom, it was over and now it's just Neil and me, with just a few days left until Neil retires.

Neil read a little to me in the book series we're slogging though now, The Once and Future King. We took another walk around the pond. Neil watched some football, I listed some beads on Facebook.

I imagine it will take me a day or two to get back into anything resembling a routine.

I loved having both my kids and partners here and of course my grandson, but there was a bittersweetness to it. It's so rare that our calendars align, and I don't have to share them with their dad, who was away visiting stepkids and step-grandkids for once. I tried very hard to soak it in and feel the gratitude, to be in the moment and appreciate the here and now. I tried not to think about what the future might lack.

This time next year I assume I will be living in North Carolina.

Notice that I still leave it indefinite. The final papers have been signed, yet I'm still in denial to a degree. Right now I'm not feeling much emotion about it one way or the other. I'm waiting for some feelings to hit me again, sadness, joy, excitement, anxiety. Apparently it's far enough in the future that I can postpone feeling anything for now.


Hello, come in, great to see you again
Been such a long drive, guess you're beat
Heavens what's that? It's a dwarf in a hat
Oh, no, you've brought the children, how sweet
I'm sure you mentioned it when we'd last spoken
Let me just move these so they don't get broken
He's such a delight and you're staying the night
You know I just love little kids

Little kids are sticky and cute
Little kids have mud on their boots
And they run through my house
And they torment my dogs
And I surely do love little kids

Let's sit in here, honey, this is your chair
No, kitty's afraid when you shout
Oh, it's okay, it was old anyway
And the other one washes right out
Don't touch the parrot, that's right, it's a mean one
How do they do it? I'd need a machine gun
She's patient and kind, I'd be out of my mind
You know I just love little kids

Little kids will cry anywhere
Little kids have food in their hair
And they run through my house
And they torment my dogs
And I surely do love little kids

No, don't pull their tails, no, they're not mean
Yes, if they bite you it hurts
It's just a Sears coffee machine
Nobody knows how it works

The company's gone and I'm sitting alone.
Away from the noise and the fuss
The pets have returned and this weekend I've learned
Little children are nothing like us
They put their food in ridiculous places
They leave their fingerprints on their own faces
Oh how could you say we all started this way
You know I just love little kids

Little kids get up way before me
Little kids leave a trail of debris
And they run through my house
And they torment my dogs
And I surely do love little kids


(Cheryl Wheeler)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz