This is your life / Don’t play hard to get

This afternoon while I attempted to get some sleep Ralph took my mom’s shop vac to the interior of the car – he picked up gallons, apparently. The vehicle was instantly a lot better (no splashy sound when you step in) – less condensation, and in the shouldn’t-have-surprised-me category it was far less cold for driving (I guess we’ve been running around in a portable DIY air chilling unit, ha!).

Little things like that cheer me up. It’s cold out – approaching freezing temperatures, about the coldest we’re acclimated to here – and wet. I have a headcold and am somewhat frustratedly committing to rest this weekend. So instead of having an active day getting shit done and running around then finally relaxing to some B-movie viewing, I spend the day… doing nothing. Except knitting and reading to the kids. Both good things, both not what I wanted to limit myself to today. And gee, the B-movie isn’t much to look forward to when I’ve been ass-bound all day.

I got up to a little bit of cheerfulness sitting at the Y and typing away on the laptop while the family went swimming. There was another family there with a pretty little baby and I sat there and with my Mind-Control willed the father to Bring Me The Baby (he didn’t, and in any case, I wouldn’t hold a baby while contagious). Ralph and I locked eyes across the pool. BABY. We have a signal.

Tonight after swimming we park in front of my mother’s; Ralph runs inside to help her move something heavy. Nels is filled with remorse because a few minutes previous I had nixed his plans to purchase a little bottle pop. He’s taken this very badly as I’ve been short with him all day; at this last straw he starts crying. “Nobody wants me, nobody likes me… You don’t even want to kiss me.” I pull him onto my lap; the car is warm, the strains of Balmorhea from the speakers and the purr of the heater and his little pink nose and tear-streaked face and the smell of his skin and hair. I kiss him. And I apologize for being short with him. He’s right, I’ve been treating him poorly of late.

Nels is more forgiving than anyone I’ve met; he knows with rapier-sharp acuity a sincere apology vs. an insincere one; he accepts sincere ones when provided (this is a rare and gracious trait). Ralph and I have a terrible tendency to find Nels cute; it’s this that our son bridles at when he sternly tells us not to laugh at him. I put my arms around him now and re-commit to taking him as seriously as a Big Person. And I try to swallow those feelings I have, occasionally, of being worse than a Wire Monkey Mother.

By the time I get home – and Ralph and I roast a chicken, make mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, and carrot sticks with ranch dip, then set the table and sit down to eat – I realize I’ve overextended myself. My head feels stopped up and my eyes are itchy and I’m a bit dizzy and I’m thinking, I can’t even rest correctly.

So who wants to get a shot of whiskey, listen to Freddie, and have a good cry with me?

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