Solid fall-feeling weekend. We’ve spent it in good company. Last night we went to Hot Springs to visit some friends and their sweet children. A bit of catching up while the kids played, then on to a party hosted by some of their friends. Lots of kids—the boys had a blast, riding an old go-cart down a dusty hill, splashing in water. They got soaking wet, and came running to me, cold and dripping. I had extra shirts but not pants, and a sweet stranger came and took their pants to her house to dry. The boys, wrapped in towels, waited close to me, snuggling. We watched the party ramble on, together.
After a bit, I walked with our new friend back up to the house, learning about her life. She started and has headed for thirty years, an international company that assists family businesses trying to survive in the global economy. Pretty amazing. A fiercely competent woman, mother of four, living part-time in Amsterdam and part- time in the US. I could tell she was wondering about me. Finally she asked. I gave her very little information. She was so sympathetic, and kind. “But have you no family close by?” she asked. “No. No, it’s just us,” I replied.
Falling asleep last night, I remember my fear. I remember thinking, I cannot let anything happen. Who would be called? Who would come for us? How would I pay? When I was walking back from the car with dry clothes at the party, I remembered seeing the boys as they waited for me. Their world was on hold until I returned. At that moment, I realized how blind I have been, from time to time, to the meaning of my single parenthood. This threesome of Mom, Cash, and Tucker, is so sweet. So important. Important to a nearly terrifying degree. I fell asleep last night feeling the pressure of it.
Today, my brain is taking pictures of everything, as a result. I took the boys to the Fair, rode all the dizzy rides, watched the people and the horned cows. We took the chairlift over the whole fairgrounds. I’ll never forget their amazement at all the colors, smells, and sounds. It reminded me of the vow I made some time ago to travel with my boys, to tackle as much of this huge, wide world as I can, through their eyes.
Good Lord, help me stay steady for them. On my shallowest days, I believe it is important for me to be happy and patient all the time. But on my deeper, better days, I know it’s about just being here, as human and messy as I may be. If they can look back and say that it was always safe, and quiet was possible, and that I wasn’t too, too distracted, that it always smelled good, and that love was always hanging around, then that will be enough for me.
I am constantly looking back these days, having lost so much. But looking forward, really, at this point, I don’t need much, as long as I can keep this. Just let me keep this. Please. If the universe can just keep us three together, I think I can handle the rest. No matter how great a task that turns out to be. That’s all I’ll ask.