Continuing my quest to try to be mindful and thankful for what I have. Even if it is temporary. Even if it is shifting like sand under my feet. I grab on to what I can to stay upright and moving forward.
Saturday I got to go out and see a band I haven’t seen for a long time: The Numbers Band. When I went to college, I used to see these guys at JBs every Saturday as often as I could. Their sound has both evolved over the years and stayed the same with familiar tunes, blues covers, jazz interpretations and some good hard, rock and roll.
I was up too late having a good time, which is a good reason to be up late.
Picking up the kid yesterday morning was tough. I was tired and a little hungover. A hangover is a sickness of excess. Too much of a good time. So this is also something to be thankful for. Gosh, you had too much fun last night, poor you. Ha.
I was able to purchase ample groceries for my week ahead, as I had the money in my account, so I was grateful for that. Things for the boy’s packed breakfasts and lunches, which I can get together with lightning speed now in the morning. Food for dinners, some of which I was able to cook ahead so they can easily be reheated some night this week. The boy played in the free, secure daycare at the grocery while I shopped. Considering how tired I was, this was also a real blessing. Yes, he just sits in there and plays video games, but he doesn’t get to play any at home, so he enjoys it as a special treat. We also bought one of their $1 cards recently that adds him to a kid’s club kind of thing. Each visit to the store, he gets his choice of a cookie from the bakery, a slice of cheese from the deli, or a piece of fruit from the produce department. I have lied to my child, and told him you have to rotate the items and you can’t get the cookie every time, but yesterday was cookie day again so he got that before we left, after I fetched him from daycare and before checking out. I explained to him how the $1 we paid for that card went to a local children’s hospital and what kind of work they do in that hospital, and so the store is doing good with the money we gave them, and we did good by supporting it, and he gets a perk in response, so it’s good all the way around. I have no idea if any of this shit I say ever sticks with him, but I try.
When we got home, I put the groceries away and sent him outside with a bucket, water and sponge to try to clean off the big wheel and smaller bicycle he has on the patio. He is too big for them and I would like to try to sell them, but they should be cleaned up first. He didn’t do a fantastic job, but he did an earnest job, worked for a long time and was very proud of his work, so I did not go behind him pointing out what he didn’t do. I know he doesn’t have to do things like this as often at his Dad’s, but we also had fun. We put up the Christmas tree yesterday, which took a big chunk of the day, and listened to holiday music. “Where’s my hot chocolate!” he demanded, remembering I always make it for him when we do this, so I made that and actually made real whipped cream to put on it since I still have whipping cream leftover from Thanksgiving, and that shit keeps forever because the fat content is so high. He loved it.
I remembered a moment when I laid awake last night with a bout of insomnia. His little voice coming over to me while we were in the middle of decorating the tree, and in an increasingly rare tender gesture, slipped his arms around his neck and said in his little voice, “I love you.” My mind raced thinking how I should make an audio or video recording of that little voice saying he loved me. How sooner rather than later, I won’t hear it again, that high-pitched, innocent voice saying kind things. But you can’t store up sunshine as my mom has always said. I will just keep it in my heart.
Late afternoon, we went to one of the playgrounds in the apartment complex and he got extremely muddy as is a little boy’s prerogative. There were some other kids around and they played together. We walked, balancing on the parking curbs and though the light was waning, it was gorgeous. Not too cold, certainly not for this time of year and definitely not for a little boy who needs a lot of activity. After dinner, he almost fell asleep half a dozen times while we watched The Year Without A Santa Claus. It is so nice to share these moments with him. It’s hard, also, as the other shows I had saved and wanted to watch with him, he has already watched this year with his Dad. That’s ok, and I’m glad he’s making fun memories. But it’s a painful reminder how I only get to see half of my kid’s childhood. It is too overwhelming and upsetting for me to think about when I think about it like that, so I try not to.
I’m thankful for the moments of purity and joy we had yesterday. For the beauty of the sky and the contrast of the power lines across it like an electronic signature.
I slept poorly, but in a nice bed with clean sheets and that’s so much more than so many have. And came in to my job today, which do not take for granted, even when it’s very difficult and challenging and I wish I didn’t have to get up and go do it. I’m not answering someone’s phone or packaging horse vitamins or breathing in chemicals hanging drywall or whatever, so things could be worse, could always could be worse.
It is nice to feel loved.