Saturday, September 03, 2011
Rhys is four weeks old. Today is his due date. Time is like water -- rushing, rushing.
This morning is one of those mornings when daylight enters the room to reveal two adults completely and utterly defeated by the smallest of beings – barely 7 pounds now – lying asleep on the bed between them, looking all of the miracle he is, any strains of the Midnight Devil we came to know hours before vanished.
Sleep. If only. Our 6-year-old is hungry, and we might have to feed the cat, too, although so far she's caught herself a mouse and a bat (!) for her time in the house.
It's the stage way before smiles and giggles, before clutching toys and eating toes. It is the stage when, if their eyes are open at all, they stare past you and over your shoulder with a great suspicion, tiny brow furrowed into deep gorges, mouth pursed. The question in the air is clear enough: did someone make a mistake? pull the parachute cord over the wrong cloud? Who ARE these people??
Last night, Mike and I tried to discuss our goals for the long weekend. The project list is too big to write down. The house is too much of a mess to start anything. I wanted to hear about floors being sanded, lamps being purchased.
“I think we should be patient with each other,” Mike says.
“I think we should be patient with each other.”
“We're not being patient with each other?” I ask impatiently.
Wake me up when you've got some goals, dude.
In the newly installed shower one of the two shower curtains that circle the claw foot tub is printed with a colorful world map – a long-ago gift from my sister, Rita. Due to geographic and stylistic considerations, as I stand in the respite of hot water, I spend no time looking at, for example, Australia or, as it turns out, the Arctic Circle, which is shown in detail in a callout much below its actual latitude. Instead, while I bathe I am regaled with décor such as Greenland and, particularly, the upper regions of Canada where I study the many fort towns with bemused curiosity.
There are Forts Nelson, Norman, Simpson and Smith – your garden variety embattlements. Then Fort Reliance and Fort Resolution that have a bit more to say about the state of things. Among all these is my favorite: Fort Vermillion, which bounds forward in my imagination, its brilliant colors streaming, its watch towers vibrant in wild shades of red. And through it all there is the Peace River, holding down the waters of hope that everyone will quit it and just get along.