Wednesday, November 20, 2013

On Being Needed Always Until You're Not Needed Only to Be Needed Again Very Soon After

Other people need me.

Right now.

I can sit here quietly and stare at the wall all evening and be completely ignored but the moment I make for the laptop to try to write a blog entry, I'm 100% in demand.

The pulse in my ears is almost as loud as the conversation that the kids are having. The dog is licking the floor, don't know why, and the noise is driving me toward insanity. I have had a headache for two days now.

But hey. That's okay.

The scene: The dining room table, again, always. The time: 7 in the evening. It's completely dark outside, the light inside has a yellowish glare, it must be my headache.

My son is to my left, working on his 5th grade math, stem and leaf graphs, and I have no idea what that means.

My daughter is sitting to my right making a paper celestial sphere model which resembles a paper lantern and has become her obsession as she tapes and re-tapes and trims and offers a running commentary on it all.

The boy asks math questions that I can not answer, the daughter attempts to give him helpful information. He misunderstands, she raises her voice. Then he suddenly understands what she's saying though not because she spoke louder but because his brain caught up with the ideas.

The dog has stopped his licking and is sleeping on the floor at my feet. One of the cats begins licking his face.

Daughter continues to attempt to achieve perfection on the paper sphere, she chews a piece of tape like gum. If her brother did that she'd be the first to reprimand him. She points out constellations and makes comments about how stupid they are. The shapes don't look anything like they should. This is silly, she says. This is stupid, she says. Look at Hydra, it's just along chain of unrelated stars, look at Draco, it's just a bunch of unrelated stars. I ask if deconstructing the constellations is part of the assignment because, despite her brilliant mind and charm, I'm finding this one-sided conversation about the dumbness of all things a bit tiresome. And she says, NO. FINE. And she's done with science and is ready to turn her full attention to the very necessary task of sharpening all pencils.

Son motors through the rest of his math. He heads to spelling. He must write a paragraph describing a beautiful park using 4 of his spelling words. Suddenly he is seized with soul deep despair. This task is just too much to ask of a boy. He says, "My mind is too too dark to imagine a beautiful park. It just can't be done." he insists, wretchedly. And then he's off to laugh and talk baby talk to the kitties.

I call the boy back to the table. I ask him to randomly pick four of his words. My son chooses, brawl, turmoil, forbidding, and mouthful. I know this is going to be all kinds of fun. For real. I like this guy. I like my daughter too. I love them and I like them and I need them and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.


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