At about 7 AM when it was still dark I woke up and realized in that faster-than-lightening-but-somehow-in-slow-motion way you do upon suddenly waking – that my son had just wet the bed (a bed I was also sleeping in). We’re talking an inch of standing water. My left arm soaked from shoulder to elbow. I sat up – very dismayed. Nels sat up, “I had to pee, but it was tooooo laaaaate…” he begins to sob.
“It’s OK,” I tell him. Ralph takes the child downstairs to wash and change. I tackle the bed. Dripping, waterfall-esque cascades of water. I’m not even upset – just impressed. My son’s urine does not smell at all unpleasant to me, a fact that helps later as we fall asleep on the freshly-made bed and he cuddles close again and I catch the slightest parts per million still in the air. Nels is back alseep quickly. In the new light I can see his profile: perfect. His eyes turned up elvish at the corners, just like his father’s. But features all his own, growing and changing before my very eyes. I am glad to have him here still clinging to me. It won’t last forever like this.
Last night’s dinner was lovely. For the second New Year’s in a row our group (this year consisting of my foursome, my mother, aunt, and sister; three friends J., R., and M.) went to Alexander’s in Hoquiam. I wanted to get the king crab dinner – it seemed like something that would come to the table looking monstrous, claws sticking up and all. I lost my nerve and instead settled for a bleu steak, or whatever it’s called when you eat grilled, medium (bloody!) red meat with bleu cheese on top. I think it’s called “just plain decadent”. The kind of thing to bolster my near-vegetarian fare at home and help with today’s bike sojourn. The kids dressed up: Sophie with clip-on earrings and a giant hair bow, Nels in sparkly mary janes, a full layered skirt, pirate t-shirt, and much jewelry: “I’m a Night Girl,” he tells me proudly.
For the New Year countdown my mother brought over a huge version of homemade tiramisu; my sister and the kids whooped at the rather extravagant fireworks displays in our neighborhood. We played the victrola at midnight. I felt subdued, over-worked, worried and fussy – but it was clear the rest of the family had a great time.
Moving is not quite over. I’ve spent the last couple days caring for the babies, cleaning and cooking while my husband tackles cleanup and painting at the old place. Yesterday I made six loaves of bread in the new kitchen. Breadmaking may be my way of territorially “marking” my home as my own. My house is filled up with the warm, yeasty smell, filling stuffed in the bread like cinnamon, butter and sugar; two more loaves with parmesan, garlic, and yes, more butter. The chickens are home and laying; yesterday we retrieved an egg and Sophie (the more adventurous chicken) got out of the coop and eventually made it to the alley where I joke that she donned a leather jacket and started smoking, terrifying the neighbors.
The kids make everything worthwhile; the pain of moving (which I have not been writing about, hoping I will forget it soon), the oddness of new thermostats and changed routines. They are my compass for when it’s time to rest, time to eat, and time to relax; they help close doors and carry laundry. They compliment my cooking: “This smells great!” Sophie says as she opens the oven, her bearing as proud as if she’d made the bread herself. And as it turns out – at least for now – they are more resiliant for adventure than I.