The other Friday night, Thing2 had a school dance. Thing1 went over to SuperGal’s house for a quiet pre-prom night hang out. The Big Guy went to play music with his traditional music band at the Wayside Country Store. For a few minutes, work was finished, school was out and I was somehow alone.
Then at 6, Thing1 texted he was starting home early, so he and I went to a new food truck discovery in Cambridge, NY. We got back just before the Big Guy finished up his gig. Thing1 went to bed early as he has been these days with his hair-trigger colon still sapping his endurance. The Big Guy and I suddenly had the giant sectional all to ourselves. I had to keep reminding myself that Thing2 was going a sleep over after the dance since, even with the TV turned up to 50, the silence blared, heralding a new era.
When I started this blog about 6 years ago, Thing1 was just starting to pull at the fraying edges of my apron strings. This year, despite the needs created by an acute episode of his illness, he’s been shredding the one on his side. What I hadn’t expected — but should have — was that Thing2 would start chewing at his share of the strings at the same time.
I’m wearing my UMass Mom t-shirt as I write this. It’s my new apron. There are no strings on it. Like that apron, it’ll get a few tears on it over the next few years, and, hopefully it will have a companion when Thing2 flies the asylum in a few years.
The geography of our new lifestyle is similar to when we were double-income-no-kids (DINKS) even if the absence of money reminds us that no matter where our kids are, there it is. Still, penniless or not, it feels like we’re entering new territory.
A week ago it was in the 30s, and this morning I walked out to the driveway to find that The first wave of dandelions had already bloomed and float away. This is a member of the second wave getting ready to open.
I know they’re weeds, and I probably won’t be so philosophical when I’m yanking them out of the garden next month, but right now, after a long rainy spring, they’re a lot more than weeds. They’re miniature sunflowers.
Today, on All My Guppies, The little Thinker Girl tries to arrange a quiet algae dinner with Herman the Hermit, but is foiled by the snails who, toddling nicely at the ripe old age of the five days, have developed a severe case of Herman worship (T1, who wanted me to attach a picture of T2 glued to his tuxedo sleeve, mentioned how well he empathized with a guy who only wanted to have a nice quiet date without snails or siblings trying to tag along.)
Herman, preferring to be left alone by everybody except the little Thinker Girl, was last seen plastered to the glass border of Tankland, screaming “Get. Them. Outta here!”
Portrait of Oscar asking one of the minions to please not bring snacks to meetings of the Guppy Poet Society as it distracts from the creative process (although this artist has never found that to be true).
Our dog is pretty good about not begging at dinner time, but Snoop, our fat black god of pleasure, has a habit of parking himself by the Big Guy’s chair as soon as the Big Guy settles himself and his plate at our round pedestal dinner table.
Snoop stares longingly up at the Big Guy. The Big Guy, doing his best ogre imitation, orders him to go away and starts to eat. Snoop begins a classic silent meow, but ends it with a squeak to make sure the Big Guy is aware of how adorable he’s being. The Big Guy ignores him for a few bites until Snoop reaches a paw up to pat the Big Guy’s leg.
Then the contest begins, with the cat and Big Guy staring each other down until someone gets the next bite of whatever is on the Big Guy’s plate. Snoop doesn’t always win, but he does so often enough to make it quite clear to the humans that it’s not the cat who is looking at a king.
O Little Thinker Girl, hanging out there,
I care not if you have old clothes or un-abundant hair
For it is not mere beauty that me ensnares.
No, I hide quiet under the boughs, for now from you apart,
Waiting for the algae of our love to grow again between our hearts
Just as it did a just few weeks ago at the very start.
If you please, a little extra sludge at your feet
Would also be really neat.
The fact that it’s gluten-free makes it a real treat.
– by Herman the Hermit, guest contributor to the Guppy Poets Society, on the occasion of finding no new algae at the feet of the Little Thinker Girl.
A funny thing happened on the way to the buzzer. Herman the Hermit was determined to hide behind the bonsai so I decided to draw the tree instead. It was supposed to be a 3 minute doodle, but I kept hitting the snooze button until almost 10 minutes had gone by and Herman was still hiding. Then I remembered there were lots of other fish in the tank and restarted the timer from the beginning.