This month the washing machine broke down (because I washed too many couch covers too many…and at once) and my cellphone stopped taking calls (because I answered it with wet hands from running the bath) and the batteries for the home phone were no longer working (after they were used in an ‘experiment’) and the dishwasher all of sudden no longer washed dishes (which led me to discover, it was actually a fuse) and power points all over the house no longer had power and my laptop went to sleep and never woke up and the laptop I borrowed didn’t have all its keys (so I spent 3 weeks copy and pasting ‘L’s, ‘T’s and 9’s and do you know annoying that is, when you’re in a heated debate, over instant messenger?) and the USB keyboard I purchased today, because I had to write this post? Well, my darlings, I’ll be damned if the ‘A’ doesn’t work. So whenever you see one, think of me fondly; cross-legged and squinting, machine on machine, hunting for typos. Ctrl V. Ctrl V.
And all this to say, sometimes you will have a mare. And you will get to the point where you say, gosh, that’s a fair share. And then more will happen, and you’ll think, really? But…really? And then more will happen and you may have cry; or you may be too tired to cry, or too stubborn; so maybe you’ll just be angry instead, and you’ll curse your lot and call your mother and swear and complain. And then more will happen and you’ll be like OF COURSE. COME AT ME! WHAT ELSE YOU GOT? Because you are my children; and that’s how we do.
And on and on it may go, a veritable avalanche, untill you get to the point where you no longer care, which comes as respite, but also, rewardingly leads into the point where you will find yourself laughing. And then it’s as if the secrets of all things are revealing themselves to you. Because if you can still laugh, for whatever reason, alone and your own, you’re doing okay.
Because there will always be times where things go wrong. Times the sheer relentlessness of the world will astound you. But there are also first kisses, and new ventures, and parties and books. And inspiration and peanut butter and jam sandwiches and really hard hugs, right when you need them. There’s conversation and collaboration and new party clothes and treasure and gold watches and do you know how many cat videos there are on the internet? There’s new bands and old bands and doing your best. There’s cleaning your bedroom and washing your hair. There’s new friends and old friends and family. There’s new friends and old friends and family, who have a full complement of working chattels.
There’s a quote, wrongly attributed to Buddha, that says, “When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” And while it my not be from the source, there’s wisdom in it. Remember there is much to look forward to. And most of it will come as a complete surprise.
This month you said:
Driving somewhere talking about what we could see out the window:
Theo: Look at that truck Mama!
Alice: That’s a good one, Bubba. What do you like about it?
Theo: I like the engine and the started motor!
Mabel: I like the black it’s painted!
Sitting at the kitchen table; eating dinner:
Theo: Mama, what are prickles?
Mabel: Like on cactuses! (Then you laughed to yourself) Good thinking, me!
Sitting on the couch in the afternoon with Mae on my lap, when she turns to face me and pats my chest.
Mabel: Mama, your boobies were a milk container!
Theo came over to fix my fence (as played by the couch)
Theo: Hammer! Hammer! Hammer! There! All fixed!
Alice: Great! Thank you! How much do I owe you?
Theo: 20 box!
Getting in the car this morning, a Police car drives past.
Theo: You tell the Police to get lost!
Alice…You mean, you tell the Police when you get lost, darling?
Theo: Yeah! And then they’ll ring Simon!
Alice: …You mean…Ring the siren?
This month I overheard you say:
Theo: Is that the go-er?
Mabel: No! that’s the stopper!
Theo: I’m going to give you a haircut!
Theo: That sounds naughty and dangerous.
Mabel: Lets do it!
Theo; you have learnt to say and spell Bob the Builder in 5 languages, and to use the covers of our videos to copy the titles for searching on you tube. You are endlessly inquisitive; you asked me the other day why the mandarins had freckles, and asked your sisters feet why they were under her socks. “Feet? I’m talking to you, Feet!”. She made them reply in a silly voice and we laughed and laughed. You are such a good brother and son. I remember exactly, like some cellular memory, how I would burp you when you were a baby. Sit you up straight with my hand across your chest, lengthen you as best you are able to lengthen a slug, tilt you slighty forward and rub your back in an upwards motion. You’d wake every 2 hours, like clockwork. And I remember, so clearly that time; how everything changed, suddenly so focused. I remember the light from the lamp on top of the television, where I would sit on the couch and feed you those nights. The warm weight of you. I had no idea the little boy you’d turn into; though you feel it, somewhere. A knowing. I am so proud of the person you are.
Mae; you say ‘him is’ instead of his, ‘them is’ instead of theirs. Carrying you in, half asleep from the car, you pointed your little hand “Mama, the stars have them is lights on”. We roll around in my bed, most mornings, under blankets til the house warms up. One morning you sat up and said, very earnestly, “It’s a whole city and a whole world, Mama. It’s a difficult music. We need a day off”. I am so often struck by your wisdom. I never want to forget how you talk, you say things like “There is a yittle cup in your breadroom”, which makes me so happy. You have no ‘L’s, could just about be my favourite thing of all time, but still surprised me when you asked me the other day why I had a cock on my arm. “You mean a clock, darling? My watch?” “Yeah. Mama! Your cock! It’s shiny!”. Your favourite look at the moment is to wear tights with feet as pants, and I call you Edie Sedgewick and you say “No! I am Mabel!”. You told me, this month, that you didn’t want to be a girl, as I sat on the toilet doing a wee. That you wanted to have a penis like Theo and Daddy and Pappou, so you could wee in the ‘toilet hole’. And I wanted to reassure you, to extol the virtues of our sex. Damn the patriarchy! Girl power! I was almost shocked by the force of my own reaction. But instead, I said, “That’s okay, baby. You can be whoever you want to be”. And then we sat there a moment; you on the floor, and me on the toilet, and we waited while that information echoed inside us. I will always be there for you, to help it take hold.
And so, my loves, take heed: it’s not the life in your appliances, or even the appliance in your life – because where there is a will, there’s always a way; even if it’s not the way you had planned.
That I stay home, Friday nights, and write love letters to the best people I know, is proof. Ctrl V. Ctrl V.
Everything’s gonna work out, you’ll see.
January / February / March / April