shifting positions…


I’m sitting in Mary Alice’s kitchen, as per my usual routine three days a week; listening as the house rumbles and shakes off the snow and ice which have lived atop the structure all winter long. Mary Alice isn’t cognizant of the change going on around her-she’s lost in her own thoughts of cleaning the kitchen and making the house look presentable. Every once in a while I’ll hear the sound of ice breaking free; look outside and watch the avalanche of ice and snow come crashing down-something for me to clean up later I think to myself. I wonder too…if this is an analogy for something later as well…

The boy has become less communicative with me lately–unless he chooses to impart some nugget of wisdom he deems necessary…for instance the quality of story behind some video games with only four characters versus seven. While he’s telling me about this game I wonder if there is a deeper meaning behind what he’s telling me….or is he simply throwing out conversation? This morning I asked him what he’d like for his birthday-which is at the end of next week. “I’ll know when I see it” he replied. “Do you know what I would like for your birthday?” I asked. Not bothering to wait for a reply I said, “I’d like you to find your cell phone…it’s probably buried in your room somewhere, underneath clothes or the bed or something else…” “Let me get this straight…for my birthday you want me to clean my room?” He asked with a note of incredulity. “Yes…I gave birth to you…so you should give me a birthday present in return.” I replied, knowing full well what his response to this request would be. “Um, no.” He said with a smirk. “Well can you at least find your phone?” I replied. “I will…eventually.” He said and then moved onto his discussion about video games–a subject he knows I’m really not  interested in…a yes…a diversion…

The doll is changing so much these days…and I don’t mean in height and weight. The other night I marveled at the discussion she and the boy were having about books they both have read. As I’ve mentioned before, she has newly discovered a passion for reading…a mix of wanting to be able to discuss books with friends and the books themselves stroking her imagination. But she’s never solicited her brother’s opinion about a book, without some other reason–“Can you tell me why they went to the brooke?” “No, read for yourself and do your own homework…” I found their discussion quite thrilling-even though I’ve never read the book in question–primarily because they were talking together like civilized people. Not yelling or fighting or cursing at one another. They were actually talking…and enjoying the others company-short though it may have been.

These oncoming years with the kids growing and changing is kind of like the melting snow and ice upon the roof…breaking free, changing, leaving messes to be cleaned up in their wake. I had a discussion this morning with a friend about how youth is wasted on the young…of course, we’re the ones complaining–the no longer kids crowd-the “responsible” adults. That melting/changing snow and ice affect us just as much–if not more…we’re lost in nostalgia for what could have or might have been…while they’re caught in the turmoil of youth.  I’m not sure which is worse…or better. I just hope their years are not too tumultuous…and I get the pleasure of viewing them.


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