This morning it wasn’t entirely nerves that made me feel I had to go for a run, even though I’d done the same yesterday and according to the training program I’m following I’m supposed to take the day off. Sophie was finishing her sleep on the couch: I woke her, told her I’d made up oatmeal for breakfast and set the table, and to mind her brother if he woke before I got home. She nodded and settled back into the blankets, first requesting that I engage her playlist on my computer’s iTunes and – I could tell – enjoying some time to herself. Both of my kids are thinkers, and totally content with their own company. The house smelled warm and homey like fresh oatmeal and hot coffee. It was sunny and only a tiny bit cold; a crisp fall day, giving us a prelude to winter.
Running has helped me feel more energetic, more present, more alive. It’s given me just a little bit more “space” to exist, and I’ve felt wonderful about my body and breath (I also, it must be confessed, enjoy listening to Justin Timberlake, The Gossip, and Santogold at volume 11). Despite feeling wonderfully stretched during the day I am having a harder time falling asleep just lately – no matter how much I run, then swim, then busy about the house cooking and cleaning, when it comes time to sleep my mind won’t settle easily. Tonight, though, I hope for an easier time, because tomorrow we rise early and drive down to the Portland airport to put my little girl on a plane and it will feel like a punch to the gut. My brother is taking the day off and will be squiring us about the City of Roses; I’m hoping our time eating good food and running about town (and later that night staying at the Hawthorne hostel) can distract me from the discomfort I know I’ll feel.
In Sophie’s departure, though, I’m looking forward to having more time with my son. He’s been bringing the real ball-busting material lately. I’m thinking of today where in the space of a morning he doused the cat in Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap, made his sister cry a half dozen times, and yelled “Fuck!” in Denny’s (sadly, it wasn’t one of those “at least no one else heard” scenarios, either). Nels is a wonderful child in that no shaming and yelling at him really works; it only makes him more frantic to be forgiven, or angry at being treated this way. My son’s existence is an exercise in patience and compassion for me – also, in Not Getting My Way (kind of funny, because in my FOO I had the reputation of Always Getting My Way – hogwash!). Yet I know that my two weeks with my son are going to be wonderfully peaceful together. As much as my children love one another, they also love space of their own.
Today when we got home from lunch (and walking around Crackton, Aberdeen) Sophie spent quite a bit of time in her “studio” drawing picture after picture. When she was ready to be with me, and for a little lighthearted entertainment (I snark), we watched The Orphanage* as I attempted to cast on stitches for a pair of gloves (I abandoned the effort when I realized the movie was in Spanish and my eyes would be needed to read subtitles, rather than count stitches). My kids are enjoyable movie companions; they usually out-think the film and make some pretty hilarious assessments. In tonight’s installment ( ::spoilers:: ) when the tortured heroine is trying to unravel a mystery of her missing child, she finds as a clue this horrific little doll wearing a terrible mask; my daughter says casually, “That’s a little creepy for a doll, don’t you think?” Yeah, like why in the fuck would someone create something like that, ever?
Good point, little girl.
* Talk about a great film for any mother with children! No, scratch that – it was a horrible idea. To be fair, I’d advocated for Let The Right One In but she wants to wait until her dad can watch it with us.