Not quite yet

April 7, 2014

 

It’s so hard

to love a teenager.

They don’t smell good,

either they stink of cheap deodorant

Or sweat

Or the urgent desire to fit in.

They snap at any little thing-

“how are you?”

“Where are you going?”

Don’t ask unless you know

They will not answer.

Or if they do,

It will cost a large slurpee.or ten dollars or

Both.

His voice will not

Belong to the one you love.

It will be lower

Or  delivered in a funny accent

Or it will reek with disdain, or impatience,

Or misinformation

Designed to distract you

From whatever it is they don’t want you

To know.

It is hard, and humbling, and

Impossible to love this

Big Footed, Deep Voiced, Mysterious, and Weird

Soul that lives with you..

It is Amazing when you see signs

They still love you.

They smile.

You swoon.

They laugh.

You swoon.

They listen.

You stop and try to remember what it was you  said.

You stop everything,

You turn off the phone, you step outside, you close your eyes.

You try to remember what you said.

While they discover the rest of the world outside of you.

I think that’s how it goes.

I think that’s how it goes,

I’m not there yet.

 

Tonight, sitting in Ayeesha’s kitchen for the first time, it occurred to me. I’d made a new friend. She and her husband had books, good books, familiar books. They had board games and a cat. Her cat is not allowed on the kitchen counter, and her cat doesn’t go on the kitchen counter. They have big conversations about the world and not about car pools or the finale of How I Met Your Mother. Though she did make me want to watch The Walking Dead.

She got me cookies, made me coffee, and gave me the sweet spot on the sofa. It was a magical moment, when I glanced at her face and realized, I hope I see more of that face. And it wasn’t because of the cookies, though I am a sucker for cookies.

As I get older, the moments are fewer and farther between when I look at a face that isn’t related to me, and want to see it on a regular basis. There is so much stuff to do. Recitals, basketball games, work, more work, working out so I don’t look like an idiot at work. (I work at a gym.) I’m glad I met her, and I’m glad I was smart enough to get to know her. Oh, gosh, I hope she likes me too. When she comes to my house, I will bake her a pie and try to talk about something political, or at least current, or at least not about my kids.

When I got home, probably inspired by Ayeesha’s kitchen, I went on a bit of a bender. A cleaning bender. Did you know dirt gets under the knobs on the stove? When I lifted up the stove top, there were drips of indeterminate animal fat, and candle wax, (I think,) and matches, and hair elastics. I swept under the stove and found 4 milk caps, one broken glass that someone didn’t feel like picking up, 97 broken crayons, primarily in pastel shades, and an earring. It’s like mining, deep cleaning my house. There are layers and layers of stuff, and they all tell a story. We really like milk, eat too much meat, sometimes are a little lazy, do most our sketches in primary shades and are constantly looking for hair elastics.

We are a messy family, and I am a work in progress. Tomorrow I will tackle the dining room and next week, I will invite my new friend and her man over for dinner. After I teach my cats not to spend most of their time napping on the kitchen counter.

Maybe I will wait until it’s a little warmer and they spend most of their time outside.