Last week was a rough one for a lot of people. We lost Bowie, Alan Rickman. There were two local news stories that were terrible tragedies that ended in the loss of multiple children’s lives that really hurt. I didn’t know anyone involved, but friends of mine did, or friends of friends, and both stories were too close for any kind of comfort. And my boy with his Dad until this morning, so I couldn’t hug him, kiss him too many times and spoil him just a little bit until today.
So yeah, today he got the cookie at the grocery store instead of the fruit or the cheese. I also made him jello, which he LOVES and which I never think to make him, so that was super special for him. And he loved the homemade mac and cheese I made, which was a labor of love for a friend’s birthday dinner I had at my place last night. I also took him to an indoor inflatables place today, which I don’t usually spend the time and money on, but he was restless and bored, and I am cold and tired and only had so much physicality to give to this extremely active, bony kid. I have now hosted one large and a few small gatherings at my place and I really like entertaining – the mornings after where where you’re happily exhausted mean it was a good time and life was lived fully.
He was the only one at the open jump thing, which was only an hour. The employees said sometimes there will be 15 kids, 30 sometimes. Sometimes only a handful. Today it was just him. The teenaged boy worker who was left to supervise and make sure D didn’t hurt himself watched for a couple of minutes and then decided to jump in and actively play with him. They went down the slides next to each other a hundred times. The teen tried to get D to catch a ball as he slid down another hundred. Then they went to the inflatable, netted basketball court and threw 1000 balls into the baskets, to each other, over the side and everywhere else. The employee slipped outside at one point and gathered up balls to bring back in. He was visibly sweating and said to me, “This is quite a workout!” I said yes, he will wear you out. He indicated he actually was having a fun time and was glad there wasn’t anyone else there. They did the obstacle course a couple of times and then hit some balls with nerf type bats and threw them back and forth a bunch. I was so grateful. He needs this so much and I’m just not always the right person for it. He needs a guy or a sibling or someone who likes doing that kind of shit a lot more than I do, which is basically not at all, though I do a bit of it.
I wrote the facility afterwards and named the employee and said how much it meant, how much it was appreciated. They already responded and are giving him a bonus, so this makes me happy.
I feel disassociated from my life a bit these days. When I’m really grooving in the kitchen or laughing with friends, I feel more present, but long days at work mostly spent not talking to anyone and long nights at home mostly spent not talking to anyone can wear you down. And not running is really fucking with me. My foot continues to be bad and running is at least a month off, though I am working on it. I needed last night with my friends, and I needed this day with my son. I loved watching the kid play his heart out at the inflatable place. We had a dance party later, too. And I made him watch a few minutes of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech and we talked about it, to supplement what they covered in school. “He was shot by a bad man with a gun,” said my son, when I asked him what they told him at school about Dr. King. It’s sad that’s the thing that sticks out most. With prompting, he was able to say a lot of people liked him and he tried to do things for peace and everyone was sad when he died, which is a little better. And we did all the usual mundane things. Me cooking and doing the dishes and laundry. We played for a long time with the million tiny pieces of things he has in multiple containers in his room. Plastic dinosaurs and bugs and pirates and tiny superheroes and a thousand small lego pieces. We did a paper scavenger hunt, talked about how this week would go and he started circling books he wants from the scholastic flyer that comes home from school, which I order from the library. And I read his progress report from the teacher and made mental notes on what we have to work on to improve. He’s doing just fine, which is all I want.
It was 50 the other day but today was the first really wintry day I can remember so far this season. Like with the big, thick, heavy flakes and the roads sort of bad and the temp dropping sharply. It really didn’t bother me, even the cold, I guess because it’s been relatively warm for so long. I took the picture for today’s blog on Saturday, before all the snow and super cold air arrived. The metroparks almost looks like it doesn’t know what season it is. The ground is soft and muddy like spring. The light looks like late fall. The birds are completely lost and sitting together in packs chattering loudly.
At the Greek market yesterday, the workers treated me differently than ever before, even though I’ve been in there dozens of times. I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if I acted differently or if they’ve suddenly decided I am a legit customer or what, but both the guys behind the counter got up when I came in and then scrambled to get my order together. It wasn’t like they were hitting on me. I can’t put my finger on what it was. It’s like I’ve changed, and they respect me now. Or I’m commanding it now or something. Or maybe it’s all in my head and they were just bored. I have no idea, but the energy felt decidedly different than every other visit to that store.
I still feel change is happening. It’s a painful beginning to the year in many ways but for some reason this is my path forward and through. So I’m following it. Have to rise above and keep going.