Both the kids in preschool and The Gorilla working in town has forced normalcy upon us. We go to school, gymnastics, get donuts, cook dinner, feed the fish, curl up to read, fall asleep to television programs, all of the things that feel like a life.
It is glorious.
There’s been a shift among us, in the spirit of our home, in the last year. It was a slow and sometimes painful unfurling, but we are different than we used to be. The kids being a little older has taken away the largest chunk of my teeth-chattering anxiety. I’m only beginning to admit that, I am full of shame over what the baby years wrought for me.
There is a wrestle with peace over the losses we’ve endured, both deeply personal and in the world at large. It comes and goes, the grief that has settled here. I’ll forget about it for a few hours and then, in the carpool lane on the freeway ramp, an unexpected sob escapes from the passenger side.
In the last six months, three of our four parents have suffered debilitating injuries. The Gorilla and I both still think of our parents as young, energetic, able. Now in their 70’s, we are sobered by each clumsy accident. All of our parents are sharp and witty and helpful. We can’t imagine it any other way.
I’ve been trying to write a bit more and I’m taking a meditation class. Those two things are not related, except that I’m mind-numbingly terrible at both. Just abysmal. Embarrassing to the point that we blaze past cringing and go straight to maniacal laughter.
The kids, at 5 & 3, have entered a competitive stage that is disarming. I guess I should be glad it took us so long to get here. We didn’t experience the jealousy or acting out of our toddler when we brought Pirate home from the hospital, and as he grew he didn’t seem to care much about the privileges she got because she was bigger. Suddenly, he notices everything and she keeps careful score. Their Montessori teacher smiled at me when I mentioned it.
I thrive in this temporary rhythm. I like the routine of school and errands and office work. In another life, I rarely ventured past my property line. In this one, I’ll just enjoy these structured days until we march into our bursting spring schedule.