(Written longhand at the Moscow, Idaho Food Co-op and transcribed on the plane on the way home.)
How Blessed we are to have this time with little folk who see the world as endlessly facinating, down to the last tiny detail. Muriel Hendrix
You think that maybe you’re even a bit relieved to have your life back to normal,
your spacious life, the life in which you wake up slowly on you own schedule to the sound of sparrows and doves and the touch of the rising sun, the life in which you leisurely chop those veggies and fruits for your handmade juices and smoothies and you sometimes sprawl out on Superior’s shoreline and write for hours and hours, the life in which you hike the wooded trails near your house and walk, arm in arm, with your guy on evening jaunts and you make clear plans and you envision ordered futures and your house sparkles, really really sparkles.
You know that this is a good life, this sparkly orderly life — and the other one, the one that you have just lived for five weeks this summer, you know that you couldn’t have kept it up. You just couldn’t! The early morning play-dates, the constant being-on-your-toes, the lifting and carrying and putting down and lifting and carrying and putting down again, the letting go of things in your orderly life that are dear to you. Your neck hurt and you felt tired, and you hardly ever feel tired. And it is good sometimes to have time alone, just with yourself, and it is good sometimes to have time alone, with your long-term husband. And it is good sometimes to have a sparkly clean house.
And just when you are settling back into your sparkly clean house — your house that now has acquired hard-paged bold-colored chewable books on the wooden shelf where the travel books used to go, and a truck, the red and yellow one with a seat that is shaped perfectly for a one-year-old diapered bottom, parked on the living room floor because, well, because it doesn’t make sense to put everything away — just when you are settling back in and breathing deeply again and feeling a sense of order, just when your neck has lost its painful creak and it has been almost two weeks since they, your kids, have left and there’s no talk of the culprit, the one who created all this havoc, or barely any talk, or not that much talk, just when you think the swooning, the utter intoxication that kept you from giving a rip about your normal other life has now been licked, it happens.
You get on a plane and you fly west. How could you not fly west?!? They, your kids, are moving and they appreciate your help and they appreciate the help of your long-term guy, too, and, of course, the two of you offered. And besides, you’ve never been to Idaho and you love exploring new places and you are always up for an adventure. And you get out there before them — the culprit and his parents who are traveling from Laramie — a whole day and a half before the three of them caravan their way into this college town on the Washington/Idaho border with their car and the U-haul truck, and you take advantage of this time and you seek out the juice bar and the restaurants and the trails to hike. And you think it, as you walk under those mighty western trees, as you feel the hush of the ancient forest, and later as you eat a hearty meal at the local Co-op, you think it, the next day as you sit on the lawn of the townhouse that will be theirs, you think it, that this time there will be balance, that this time you will keep your addiction in check. You think it as the U-haul heaves itself to a halt, as the car slides up to the curb. You think it as your daughter-in-law opens the back door and reaches in.
You think it, and then you don’t think it anymore because his mother is holding him and he is looking over at you and you are looking back into his blueberry blue eyes and he is pointing his stubby finger in your direction and he is throwing out both of his arms and he is smiling his full-bodied smile and he is nestling now against your chest, because of course he’s in your arms and you are holding him and you don’t care about the creak that might return to your neck and you don’t care about the blog-posts that won’t be written and you don’t care about your carefully planned out life. You don’t care about anything else but this. And this, this is so good.