I was checking out at a local grocery store last week. The sky was grey and the wind was cold. For the first time since last winter snow flakes had begun to drift aimlessly down from the clouds. It wasn't much. It wasn't even a threat to leave a dusting in it's wake. It was simply a few flurries destined to be forgotten as quickly as they had appeared.
The cashier, however, was living in the moment. She glanced out the window near us and groaned. "I'm so NOT ready for winter!" she said and went back to slowly dragging my purchases across the scanner as if by reflex.
"You are aware it's the middle of January right?" I said to her.
She glared at me and shrugged a little. I, not being one to care much for shrugs like that pressed onward.
"I mean, you've had lots of time TOO get ready for snow. It should have been snowed at least one good snow by now," I said, satisfied I had made a point.
She just squinted her eyes a little and said, "Yeah, but last week it wasn't cold."
I think I might have rolled my eyes, but I can swear to it. Here's the thing - there are somethings in life you simply can't control. What you CAN control is how you respond to it.
Logan said, "Some day I will grow up and be a man like Daddy."
I said "Yup" because I know that if you fail to give Logan at least some sort of verbal nod at minimum he will repeat himself until he's convinced you heard him.
He added, "A big man. Tall."
I changed subject slightly, "And when you're a big grown-up man, what will you do? What kind of job?"
He thought a moment and I expected his usual litany of career options to begin it's march from his aspiring lips. Instead he smiled big and said, "I'm going to sit at my desk all day until it's time to eat. Then I'll get up."
And to think, he's not actually *seen* Daddy at his desk job in at least two years. I figured I'd press a little, "Ok, but what will do at that desk?"
"Work," Logan said in that familiar tone that speaks volumes. As in: Geez, Mom!
He nodded. "Yup, I'm going to do work at my desk until it's time to eat. But before that I'm going to be a Daddy."
"Oh, well, honey, it might be easier if you get your job at the desk first and THEN become a Daddy. That way you can buy food for the baby and live some place that's not my house," I told him for all the obvious reasons.
"Why?" he asked.
"It is just better that way," I told him, wondering when it was time to give him the "Honey, girls prefer employed men" speech. He's 4. I figured it wasn't time yet.
"Why?" he asked.
"It just is," I told him.
And yet another work-related laugh:
I'm related to a chef. Not one that ever cooks for us, mind you, but a real, honest to goodness, trained at one of the top culinary schools in the world chef. One with a job as a head chef/general manager.
He's getting married and ends up dragged along to a lot of bridal shows. (And as a good big sister I laugh at him much for going. I've been to those - loaded with grooms they are not.) His favorite thing to do at these shows is sample the food and fill out all those little slips you're supposed to fill out if you wish to win things.
Last one he went to he won.
A personal chef is coming over tomorrow night to cook him and his future wife a dinner.
I know. It's sick.
And yet I'm wired.
Last week I got a call. There I was innocently trying to get some lunch at my most favorite supermarket in the entire world (hey, if you were where I was you'd understand the obession) and my mobile phone starts ringing. Although when it first rang I did not hear it. I climb in the van and turn in the direction to return to the office where sane people work.
The phone rings again. This time I hear it.
It's the old office. They have been desperately trying to track me down. They need help. Fast.
And so I, in the interest of generating some extra cash for a 10th annivsary weekend away in late spring, heard them out. Then I accepted the very labor intensive job within it's unbelievably short deadline.
Let me first say that even now, nearly 5 months to the day of bidding bossman adieu, I still tense up when I hear his voice. Is that warped or what?
But on to the good stuff. I work sporadically over the weekend. I work at the real job today, come home to a snowball fight with the remaining vestiages of the itty-bitty snowfall we got last night, watch brainless TV and then settle back in to working for oldplace. I finished just a short-time ago. Still flush with the heaps of thanks and praise from bossman. I know it's a fleeting thing - it always is - and yet it never stops to make me gloat a little when he's laying it on thick.
Soon I will settle to sleep. I will confirm there are no edits needed from me tomorrow and then I will produce the nice invoice that will subsidize my trip to a truly romantic little getaway an hour from here. And then I will be thankful that this is not my norm - this workaholic stuff sucks.
Sure, I could blog it without the illustration but what fun would that be? Instead I will go off and pout now. I'm sure there is something not worth my effort watching on TV.
It was nearly 70 degrees out. I do not live in Florida. This is not supposed to be January weather here. But that's ok. We did not complain, we went to the beach and we enjoyed it.
This is today:
Yes it's snowing. It is 33 degrees outside and it is snowing. Or at least it was. It was fleeting. It lasted all of 20 minutes. Her coat was in the car, we about to head otu to pick up the big kid from preschool. We took a moment to dash out back to get what could be our only chance at snow this year. (At least if we use the last two months as an indicator.) She demanded her snow boots and her sled. We left the house instead.
The boy got to go out with his class. They caught snowflakes on their tongues. By the time we were all bundled in our coats and our way to the school parking lot the snow had ended. By the time we left the craft store 20 minutes later, the snow was melted - gone. Over. Done with.
It's still cold and blustery. It could flurry again at any minute.
But this coming Saturday it's supposed to hit 60 again...with rain.
What the hell?!
We took advantage of the pleasant temperatures to renew our annual pass to the best beach around. And then we spent time on the beach. Some of us found it a great day to take our shoes off and dig our toes into the cool, damp sand. Some of us found it a good excuse to take some photos. Some of us found it worth our while to do both. I'll let you guess which one I was.
The wind wiped my hair into a frentic dance about my head. My bare feet relished the chance to feel the tiny grains of sand tickle the soles. All around me were images begging to be perserved. Some of them spoke to me the way photos can. Reminders that no matter what occurs to us in a living moment, everything we touch or do has great potenial to create a legacy. Images like this:
Unless, of course, things don't appear to be very healthy - and by healthy I mean detrimental to either or both parties. This, is why I was fretting weeks ago about that little big thing. I was worried. Yet I had to keep quiet. It wasn't a time or place for me to speak up. It wasn't up to me to make this call. I had to just watch from a distance and be ready to catch if someone should fall.
And someone did trip just prior to Christmas. So I caught. And then I talked. I shared what was in my heart. He listened. He mulled...and he's still marching on ahead. But at least he now marches with caution. And at least I know I was honest and I know whatever he elects to do, he does so informed. I can not ask for anything more.
For the record, maybe it's just me, but if you love someone, you love them completely. You don't seek to change them into something better. If you love them you don't tear them apart behind their back to anyone in your email address book. If you love them you don't place the blame for anything and everything squarely at their feet. If you're honest with yourself and your mate you take responsbility when you screw up. If you're honest you recognize the person you're with needs to be the one that wants change - and you support not shove them in their effort. If your honest you recognize your issues are best worked out between you, not between you and any sympathetic (or not) ear you come in contact with.
I'm sad but I'll be supportive. He's made the choice despite knowing what he knows. I'll just grin and make nice again. I'll be here to catch if he should falter again. It's back to our status quo - but at least I'm back here without the heavy weight on my shoulders. I said my peace. It's all I can do.