Thursday, August 21, 2008

up from my bed, crossing the floor

I got up to survey the damage.

Greg went back to work this week, and I went back to bed with a fever, and the kids went a little nuts, foraging for themselves.

Armed with Bisquick and the History Channel's MonsterQuest, they managed to get along just fine without me.

Lexi cleaned out the fridge and left me cryptic notes about science experiments and Zack pulled another of his baby teeth, startling me awake when he foisted a bloody dishtowel up to my eye for approval.

They had put off any real sibling battles until I was at least upright, so I rose from my absentee motherly ashes today and treated them to a trip to a Bagel shop they have loved since they were preschoolers.

The place was crawling, the gray skies making coffee sound perfectly reasonable on a late August morning. Toddlers crawled over newly purchased IKEA tables - Lexi would know; she studies her catalog with a fervor usually reserved for porn - while retired couples settled into each other, whispering and pointing at the preschoolers playing in the pretend kitchen.

I found myself studying a group of women, each entering the twilight of their days. Silver hair and sensible shoes and books - serious novels close at hand - drinking coffee and discussing their pick of the month. Time passed and one of the women started for the door.

The espresso maker whined through several paces and Zack finished off his maple bar before the woman had covered ten feet.

She smiled my direction, her red lipstick on straight, dignity intact and then she said goodbye to her friends, promising to see them next week before turning and making her lengthy, elegant exit.

I'd spent the morning feeling a bit adrift, fighting a sinus infection and preparing to re-enroll our kids back at our elementary school just down the road. Filling out tedious registration paperwork, again, so they go right back from where they came, with no move in sight. At least for now.

The coming days feel free and empty and daunting.

(I'm sure being sick this week and rain rain rain has contributed to this sharp change in mood.)

But wherever the next couple decades take me, I've decided I want to end up like that woman making her way to the door. Moving. Going forward. Living each day. Reading and debating and laughing with my friends.

I don't know if I ever met anyone fairer.


Minnesota Matron said...

Honey, fever in the summer bites the big one, especially right after such a fabulous time! Mood switch indeed, and hope yours continues to climb up, toward the door, moving forward!

Oliver Rain said...

This post is so well written. I felt like I was at the bagel shop with you all. I've enjoyed your pictures of Bahamas and hope your fever goes away soon. Take care of yourself and everything else will work out.

Beck said...

Lovely. And there is NOTHING to cause sudden melancholy like a summer illness.

phd in yogurtry said...

What a lovely, inspiring tribute to the silver haired ladies. We can only hope that when we get there, some young bloggers will look upon us half as admiringly.

Amanda said...

Mmm, this was lovely.

Shana said...

Such a devoted mom, from deathbed to bagel shop! I hope you're over the worst of your flu/illness.

arlene said...

I have reached the age of the silver hair ladies, but the silver doesn't shine through(b/c of L'oreal) and I hate red lipstick! I just keep moving on-

lapoflux said...

sorry to hear you are under the weather and that no progress has been made on the move. :-(
Glad to see Bermuda was a hit - you were deserving of a break!!!
(I will be back to check out more of your photos when we get internet at some point... and not on my mum's dime ;-) )
Take good care of yourself!!

MamaGeek said...

Yeah, this was definitely delicious to read. Right down to the bisquick!

JCK said...

The fever works for you. ;) I'm in awe of this beautiful post. Definitely want to be like that lady going out the door, too. Except that could be next year at the rate I'm going...

Hope you feel better soon!

Marmite Breath said...

I'm silver haired, but I'm 32, so it's a cosmic mistake.

And I would trip out the door, cause that's how I roll.

But oh, I'd love to be like the woman you described.

Aside: Mmmmm, baaaaagellllssss.

Lisa Milton said...

*thank you*

holly said...

part of me wishes i was at that part of my life now.

but only because i don't want to go to work any more!

sigh. okay. i'll keep goin'...