Flying the banner of unfettered enthusiasm…

We crawled out of bed some time around 8:30 a.m. while Celine Dion sang “That’s the Way It Is” in the background.  I have no idea why J has latched on to this particular ditty, but there she was, singing her fanny off in his room as we slowly emerged from deep sleep.  This is happening more frequently these days, not the Celine Dion singing in the background thing: the being able to sleep in a little longer on weekends thing.  We initially received this development with guarded happiness, but we are now relishing every extra second of lounging and loafing we can get out of it.

The truth is that, regardless of how much additional lounging and loafing we do, once we hit the ground, we hit it running.  Since reaching the kitchen level this morning we have produced a dozen pancakes, four fried eggs, a large pot of coffee, a skillet-ful of hash browns, a slow-cooker full of stew meat with tomatoes and herbs, a double batch of fresh home-made pasta, four loads of laundry and so forth.  It is 1:25 P.M. as I write this, and we are nowhere near done with all that is on queue for today.  J, bless him, has already done one set of calisthenics and a 5-minute run…there is another one in his future.

We continue to be surprised by his willingness to exercise every day, even when he is “suffering” through a stuffy nose.  Granted, J has been running as he emanates a thick cloud of Eau de Vicks VapoRub, but he has been running (and performing calisthenics to the count of ten) nonetheless.  He considers this, we suppose, a small price to pay in exchange of some reinforcement and a snack (the request for which often gets turned down and, unexpectedly, turns into an offer he receives with great joy.)  His pants seems to hang lower, but he doesn’t look any less bulky than he did three weeks ago.  Maybe this is working, maybe it isn’t…the doctor will tell us on Thursday and time will confirm it in the long run.  The only thing I can state unequivocally is that J is having fun and this is thrilling!

The week ahead will be interesting.  I had made a prediction on Thursday and it seems like I was right: milder weather will continue until Thursday when I have to take J to his doctor’s appointment.  We will then, once more, have lower temperatures and snow.  Winter, all in all, has been kinder to us than we expected and we continue to hear from the long-term locals that we shouldn’t get too comfortable with this notion because this “is not normal.”  Among my plans for this week are purchasing a snow shovel and some ice melt because I’ve heard enough “it’s not normal” to feel forewarned about some sort of sudden bounty of snow.  J hasn’t reached for ten layers of blankets, five layers of clothing or continued listening to Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, so I suspect he senses fairly temperate weather ahead.

We are marching into 2012…a little farther in each day.  The middle of January is, shockingly enough, a mere week away.  The first month of the year is reaching its midpoint already, and barely a week ago we were full of the trepidation of leaving behind a whole year.  Go figure!  Time does time fly even faster as you get older.  Perhaps it is because the bills arrive regularly and indicate “hey, it’s time to pay this” while you scratch your head saying “didn’t I just pay that?”  J is blissfully unaware of how time progresses because, aside from the Monday to Friday grind and the Saturday-Sunday chill-out, there is nothing pressing on him as it presses on the rest of us.  I vaguely remember being as unconcerned with those things…thinking that the school-year was ending, the school-year was coming, Christmas was imperative and so was present-guaranteeing good behavior, summer trips to the beach…now I measure time in “gas bill due,” “electric bill due,” “pay day,” “medical appointments.”  No wonder one feels older and weighed down…it’s all the paper (bills and money) changing hands that move us along…

On this fairly nice Sunday, we have done quite a bit…quite a bit more than we would’ve liked, in fact.  Because J is giving us more latitude on weekend mornings and we are thoroughly enjoy it, some sort of necessary urgency is applied to the business of being useful the rest of the day.  I was telling my husband earlier that I feel I’ve done enough of a good job as a mother that I’m not dreading an empty nest…he laughed: you’re not dreading an empty nest ’cause you ain’t ever getting one, woman!  He’s right…deep inside I know this and find solace in it, but I also don’t feel like I have to cling to motherhood to feel accomplished.  No sooner had we had this conversation that I barreled into housework, thus negating all I’d said before.  I will lounge in bed and loaf about, but I will make up for it somehow.  I don’t yet know what that means.

Our own little Captain Queeg is clanking his Slinky behind me.  If I didn’t know better I’d say he’s reading this to make sure I’m not casting a negative light on him.  Not only do I know that is not the case, I also know that J wouldn’t mind if I said tremendously candid things about him.  His spirit is not damped by the fact that his mother skips the candy sprinkles and says what she thinks so long as she’s not mean about it.  Even when I’m angry at him and I show it, J knows what’s what.  I know this because we are still on speaking terms, we are friendly with each other and he forgives every NO even as he is knee-deep in machinations to extract a YES from me.  There is no anger or resentment in his manipulation; he is, at heart, more Bluto Blutarsky than The Incredible Hulk.

I don’t know if it is that WE have done this, raised him like this, taught him to keep the little bluebird of happiness and hope chirping its little tail-feathers off or if J has learned this on his own because he was once in a dark, dank place emotionally and somehow rose above and out of it to find unflagging optimism.  Either way, we are grateful…

If he could lift his knees a little more when he runs…that would be the cherry on top of the sundae of our satisfaction.  Who knows?  Maybe that’s what appeals to J about that Celine Dion song: “don’t give up on your faith…”  Hm…I think there’s a sampler there.



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