Saturday, February 28, 2009

Grace notes

The bright white melon slice of the moon tonight hangs in the blue sky. So clear and bright in the twenty degree air, the top circle, the shadow of where I stand, is gray and visible. Bare trees reach up, straining for the coming spring sun. There is no blue as deep and clear as the Midwestern winter evening sky--the bottom third above the horizon light, pale, fading into the deeper color. I have seen the Caribbean, the high Mexico desert, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters, the sky in the Austrian Alps. Nothing, save maybe a particular part of Monet's lily ponds, matches this blue.

I have my sweet son back after his vacation in Port Huron: time spent with his beloved cousin, auntie and uncle, and friend Linda. I love having him back, the rhythm of our life together restored after the quiet distance of his absence. Clean sheets on our beds, I secretly hope he will waken and crawl in with me sometime between now and dawn. I'll have pajamas on, not like when he's gone and I have the luxury of naked sleep. I missed the sweet breath of his morning sleepiness on my pillow for two long nights.

My sister and I hooted late into last night over wine, Facebook, old friends found, and our shared excitement over discovering online Scrabble. Each of us has found our lost best friends from elementary, middle school, and college. Bright melon memories lit our smiles and tales. Our sons sleeping in shared space, we marvelled over the hues of our lives.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The First Running Away Fight

Ben was upset with me today. He's on winter break, creating a nightmare of child care questions for a working mom. Today, he spent the day at Lana's house. Lana's parents are both physicians, and they live in a gorgeous, huge house with every toy imaginable, plus a daddy.

When I arrived to pick him up, Lana's mom invited me in to have coffee, which I did. I like her and her husband, they are witty and very welcoming. They are French Algerians,very liberal in their politics, and very gracious. We had a lovely conversation for about a half an hour, then it was time to get home.

Ben cried. Wailed. Wanted to stay. Did not want to go home, and made it plain. I got him in the car, somewhat against his will, he was still very mad at me, and was quite articulate in expressing it. I explained that I wanted to get home to take care of Lily, and I wanted him there too, I had missed him during the day, wanted to have dinner. Nothing would console the prince ripped from the friend's bossom.

When we arrived at home, he parked himself on the couch and announced: "Mom, I am very mad at you. You did not make a good choice. Tomorrow, Uncle Markie will come and take me to Florida."

"Really?" I replied, "I will miss you so much, I like living with you. I love you, even when we are angry."

"Please may I have some hot chocolate," he said.

"Get it yourself," I said, "since you are leaving for Florida!" I admit I was petulant myself.

"Mom," he laughed,"I am going to Florida TOMORROW. Today, I want hot chocolate, please!"

The Runaway and His Excellent Play Dough Train

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yellow bird

Yesterday a yellow bird appeared at the birdfeeder. At first I thought it was our first goldfinch of the season, which would be amazing because it’s only February and it just snowed again. Then again, the purple finches are looking more and more red lately. Last weekend, while Ben and I were walking near Black Pond, we saw two robins. Birdsong is more varied and jubilant in the mornings, even when it’s 27 degrees Fahrenheit. It lifts one’s spirit and reinforces the hope that winter will not last forever.

This bird is canary yellow and has virtually no black on it anywhere. And it’s lemon yellow. Shaped just like a finch, and finch-size, wings and tail white, with one thin black stripe running along the wings. Orange beak, no black cap or any black anywhere except the wings.

A mystery, an anomaly, a pleasure of backyard birding.

Friday, February 06, 2009

February Trees

In the bare, bent
winter branches: