Sunday, June 14, 2009

Look what the Yes brought in

When the raindrops hit the little pond in the park, they leave giant bubbles in their wake. Tossing cheerios to the ducks in the rain with Sam and Marcel, I noticed those bubbles, hundreds upon hundred of them with a childlike awe. Then the mama duck with the couldn't-be- much -older-than-a-day-brood rounded the corner and I felt this crazy empathy with her. (I try not to count how many babies are there--so I don't have to grieve her loss when I come down the next day or so, and see that she has less.) I always shout out my congrats to her, for her success in the hatching department. I still can't believe I ever birthed one, and welcomed another-and here she is with seven or eight..

Uncle is here. He lives here. He shares meals here. He is right downstairs. He says "sure" when I ask if I can pop out to the store. I went grocery shopping alone. I took my time. I carefully considered which fruit would ripen sooner, but not too soon. I did not get irritated when the check out line was slow. I rather enjoyed looking at all the magazines that I would never ever read.

Uncle is here. He installs things, and removes others. He says things like an "antenna is a passive device.." and then he explains what that means. He lets the boys climb on him, and each play the recorder really loud at the same time downstairs while I cook dinner. I cook dinners that require things that are fresh to be cut up, baked, stirred, dressed and steamed. I set the table for four and notice that the t.v. has not been on all day. This is the fifth meal that has not come out of the freezer.

Uncle is here. He notices when Marcel speaks in more and more complex sentences, and grins when Sam turns a new phrase. When Sam eats all of the fish on his plate without being coaxed , I am not the first to say something. Uncle is gone for hours with the boys at the diner, and the park helping them burn off the chocolate chips in the pancakes, and the jam packages consumed for fun. I come back from kick boxing, and walk around my empty house imaging all the things I would ask Uncle to help me with if he were around. And he is.

How long is Uncle going to be here? Is Uncle living here now? Will Uncle be here tomorrow? Sam had a couple of very rough days at school last week--right about when Uncle's arrival became a reality. I am imaging that all of this could be pretty confusing to a four and a half year old in search of order, control, and mastery of all things related. You know where the ball is when you throw it against the wall and it comes back. Uncle living downstairs is far less predictable.

And finally a note about no. Or should I say, and on a positive note, a word about yes. I am noticing how often a no, need not necessarily be. Inviting the yes back into the morning, the afternoon, and the night. Yes we can stop at the playground, and yes you can have a piece of gum. Yes we can read another chapter, and yes you can wear your pajamas all day. Yes you can run in that puddle, and yes doesn't mean I am losing control of the world.

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