Parental Duties

Now, it happens rarely at best, but I felt like staying in bed longer this morning. Usually I’m up and about before the dawn of day, but I just didn’t have the foot twitching obnoxiousness to bolt from the bed and sing, “Good mornin! Good mornin’! We’ve talked the whole night through! Good mornin’! Good mornin’ to you!” today. (Come on! I know there have to be some Singin’ in the Rain fans out there!)

But Sophie is used to our routine, and she couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to get up and play and give her morning treats. She couldn’t quite get the concept of my very large vodka grapefruit the night before, or my waking to her gagging on a hairball at the end of the bed at 3:00 a.m and how I couldn’t get back so sleep after I got up to clean the mess. She kept jumping to the bed—she can jump even without claws! (I really do say the most clever things with very little vodka.)—and pouncing on us, hunkering down for the surprise attack and moments later one of us would groan at the impact.

It went on for well over an hour, until Nick, who never gets out of bed before daybreak on a Saturday, purred in his husky morning voice (that I used to find attractive), “Dear? Why don’t you get up. She likes it when you’re downstairs.”

In case you don’t speak Nick, that’s code for, “She won’t stop until one of us gets up. I think it should be you…because I want to sleep.”

Making Sense of the Moment:

It’s nearly impossible to do unless you’re one of the lucky chosen few to have an uneventful life. I read an email this morning that took me back to October 2005, right there like I never left—that cruelly sunny afternoon I spent with my dying mother and a “Dear John” note. A friend is going through something similar to what I was going through at the time, and they asked advice on how to go on, how to make breathing feel like less of a gasping effort.

What I wouldn’t have given to have had the answer.

Nothing hit me as hard as my life crumbling to pieces at my feet. I was broken. I remember the feeling of being undesirable and unwanted all too well, and I spent too many nights praying that I wouldn’t wake the next day. There was something very close to the stitching of my self worth about that particular cut, and I was a shell of a friend, of a daughter, of a person.

But, as Aunt Brenda predicted, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Once the haze of hurt thinned, all I could think was, “Hadn’t I earned more respect than that?” I had. And, finally, I found the desire to look forward, closing the curtain on my vigil of the past.

My friend said they read from the archives of this site and surmised, “I see it was for the best for you, it really was.” Take time to grieve. You are mourning the loss of something that was living not so very long ago. Open your eyes to the wealth of love and care around you, open them more quickly than I did…you are ending a chapter, not your story. You go on to be a great conqueror of that which will try to hold you back, and you will redefine happily ever after to a splendor you didn’t know to dream. It will be best for you too. You will make it so.


It came!—Oh, did I forget to mention? I bought a kayak! I’ve been putting off the purchase because, well, they’re not cheap…but I decided that I was going to enjoy this Summer a whole lot more than I enjoyed last Summer—and also, that I was going to keep my butt out of the hospital this time around.

I poured over reviews, specs, and finally decided to buy with the problem-area in mind. I found a kayak that allows for several different leg positions with the bigger cockpit and side pads so that I can keep shifting, adjusting the pressure on the high maintenance (and costly) derrière. This is nothing new—I’ve never in my entire life found sitting for long periods comfortable…who knew it was to blame on a tumor and lacking coccyx!?

At twelve feet, it’s not so short to be an absolute nightmare on choppier waters (but short enough that it’s still pretty maneuverable for someone with a shorter arm span), and has excellent ratings on stability and tracking. It came last Friday, and I was well pleased to return from my father’s to find it sitting sweetly atop Nick’s SUV. I jumped from my car and cried loudly, embarrassingly, “I HAVE A KAYAK!” Nick came out, inquiring whether or not I was drunk.

The next day, both kayaks were loaded on the SUV and we headed to Mirror lake to paddle the waters there. After four or five hours, we bobbed just off from where we put-in and clutched onto each other’s boat to stay close and not drift away. It was so lovely just then, feeling the fatigue in my muscles and the heat of the sun—I am very happy with my choice of kayaks.

At one point, however, I called up to Nick, “Yours is still faster!”

He called back, “It’s called arm strength.”

Oh, and Nick wants me to publish that last night, at his birthday dinner, I ate steak. And liked it.