Today Nels and I were up at odd hours. He stayed up all night and I awoke after a very brief sleep, at about 5 AM. Our son was thrilled, thrilled to be awake during his father’s getting-ready-for-work routine. The boy talked nonstop, fetched Ralph this or that, took wet towels in from the bathroom, devoured a honeycrisp apple with great delight, stole some noodles Ralph “accidentally” left steaming on the counter. He followed his father through the house, his entire body a spritely comma jumping in well-timed energetics. “Mmm Daddy?” he’d query politely, waiting for Ralph’s attention, then launch into his latest thought/fantasy/dream/suggestion/question. Minecraft beta is new and an update was released today; Nels was looking forward to bug fixes.
I decided I would try to rest instead of getting by on a three-hour sleep schedule, so I declined the fragrant and lovely coffee Ralph made up (which he did just for me since he doesn’t drink the stuff at home in the morning). I was nowhere near sleepy even after he left so I finished a pair of pants for Phoenie (pictures soon) and then cleaned and closed up my sewing room.
The sunlight was streaming through the house, dispelling our darkest-day-in-four-centuries just two days before. It was quite and warm and cozy. I poured myself a large ice-cold glass of water and drew a bath for my son and I.
Nels’ hair is reaching down past his shoulders now. It is one of my small but deeply-experienced pleasures in life, playing with or stroking it or burying my face in it or caring for it as much as he lets me. I don’t know how much longer until he decides he wants it cropped short again. Like mine, his hair tangles up and kitchens in the back; I’ve had to cut knots out of my hair if I leave it up and sleep on it. We could have a total mess of white-person dreds in no time. Nels doesn’t like having his knots brushed through, no matter how careful I am, but I’m guessing he’d like the dreds even less.
In the bath my son’s body is lean and spare and you can see every bone in his little ribcage and his high shoulder blades like butterfly wings. We had our arms around one another in the sunlight and he tangled his toes up in mine and his neck was the Most Delicious Thing. I was reminded of the many baths my babies and I took when they really were babies. There’s almost no other comparable pleasure, just having that time together, the closeness and the healing and the Love. I’m glad, so glad, to have experienced so many years of these rituals and maybe get a few more.
After bath I helped him brush his teeth and I combed through his hair and clipped his nails and dried him off and set the bathroom to rights. Wandering through the house in a kind of sleep-deprived daze. I was too tired to work (besides a teeny bit of housework after our bath), too desirous of rest to watch a film or read a book that was good, gripping, or adrenaline-inducing. I settled on the Netflix streaming of “The Beast”, an FBI drama starring the late (and much-beloved at Casa del Hogaboom) Patrick Swayze and some douchily-written young feller, obviously the paragon of sexy leading man (to the dudebro producers/directors/writers) because everyone in the show seemed to refer to his good looks about eight times an episode. Yeah, “The Beast” was pretty funny. It was heralded as “DEEP UNDERCOVER” (Big Deal!) which means, OMG the “good guys” are totally these antiheroes and they’re gonna have to go in deep, and like do drugs and slap women around and cut corners and murder deserving perps at their own discretion because it’s just Such! Important! Work! and that’s what it’s like, Man! At one point there are these eighteen layers of deception and drug dealers who are really cops pretending to be bad guys pretending to be cops etc. so essentially you had all these fistfights and gunshots and crack-smoking mindgames and punchouts* with eighteen people in the room and as it finally turns out only one of them ACTUALLY was a Bad Guy (seems a bit inefficient to me). Hm, what’s the word they were going for, that’s right, “Gritty”. Yeah, it was trying to be Gritty. Swayze was fun to watch, as always. His pancreatic cancer (and more likely, the concomitant chemo) had hacked away at his features and prematurely aged him. How well I remember this effect in my own father.
While I watched (with headphones) this watered-down Grand Guignol my son played Minecraft next to me, occasionally placing a hand on my arm so I’d pause the drama and remove the headphones and watch what he had to show me. Soon he was playing YouTube lyric videos and practicing some singing (a few songs I hadn’t heard before, love songs of course). At about 10 AM I sensed his little body, back up against me and slightly curled-up, was inert. I removed the laptop and placed it on the floor, tucked my son in, and a while later settled into my own slumber.
My husband is home for the weekend/holiday, something all four of us have been looking forward to. While Nels and I slept this afternoon, Ralph and Phoenix made a chicken potpie from scratch and did some Christmas shopping and wrapping. It’s almost embarassing how much work Ralph can get done when the two squawkiest-birds in the nest are down for the count. And I know it was nice for the two of them to spend some time together.
A day where I didn’t set foot outside. Rare for me, but they still make me uneasy. I’m hoping for another day of sun so I can get a little tomorrow.
* Yes, if you were reading closely you might think it is odd THIS is the sort of easy stuff I select for “resting”, and and god-bless-me, don’t know why, but No, this sort of show doesn’t generally upset me when it’s caper stuff with beefy hoodlums shooting at one another – it’s the constant rape/kid murder CSI misery-porn I usually have no stomach for.