What I’ll Remember

September 27, 2014

This morning, I visited Quincy College’s Plymouth campus in a building that used to function as a factory to produce rope and twine. My boss took me to lunch. I worked with a student to find her financial aid, her dad is a disabled vet and her mom was just laid off. I helped my daughter Katy pack for a sleepover, and shopped for the makings of caesar salad to serve 25 for Colin’s pre football game pasta party. I found the pasta party, after a slight skirmish with my GPS, and was rewarded with wine, cheese, cookies and conversation.

And this is what I think I’ll remember ten years from now about today.

When Colin and I got home, about ten oclock, we took Sophie the Patient and Wonderful Queen of All Dogs and Dobbie, the Sweetest, (a four month old puppy belonging to my friend Rebecca Allan Mitchell,) to the island right next to the gas towers to run.

It’s an island, so it’s a pretty safe place to let dogs go off leash, and it’s well lit, so as long as they stay on the island, it’s easy to find them on even the darkest of nights.

I thought it would be a good time to spend with my son. On an island, in the dark. Far, far away from the square, and the friends walking by, and the game.

We’d watch the dogs, we’d listen to the water, we’d talk.

He sat on a bench and listened to dub step. I ventured over to the other side of the island in hopes he would follow.

The dogs did.

It was a beautiful September night. The dogs tripped and rolled and leapt in the moonlight. There was no one else there on the island, just the peace and quiet, the waves and wind-
I hope I remember the dogs and the stillness of late September 9:30 pm Friday night on an island just outside Boston Harbor.

Colin sat on the bench and listened to dub step.

And on the ride home, I pretended like I didn’t care that
He sat on the bench and stared at his phone.

But when we got home, and he insisted he play me the song, I felt a little bit better.

I love you.

(Just want to make this clear, I am, by nature a very loving person. It’s safe to say I love almost everyone. Well, like almost everyone. If I’m having a good day. You get the point- as I write these words, love is in my heart.)

Even though I love you, it is not a good time when I go to the store at 8:30 at night to buy you earbuds so that you can get pumped on the way to the game tomorrow.

It is not a barrel of laughs standing in the middle of your bedroom trying to figure out how, in 36 hours, every piece of clothing you have ever warn, in your entire life, seems to be scattered on your floor, draped on over sized pillows, dangling from your music stand, or stuffed under your bed.

I understand that you regard it as a kind gesture on your part to accept my help cleaning it up, but this process, well, also not a day at the beach. Or a day at the dog park. Or even an hour in the dentists office reading People.

I’ve established I’m a pretty nice person to the people in my life. And I don’t regret the late night shopping, or the early morning to mid Saturday afternoon attempts to return order. I didn’t even mind the late nights spent with glue and poster board, a map of Ecuador and your friend with the allergies, whose mom made me move every single piece of food that might have been exposed to peanuts or peanut dust out to our shed. Which meant transporting everything in our cupboards, except the spice rack, outside.

Why did we do the project at our house? Because you wanted my help. I think. (Looking back, it was probably because your friends mom wouldn’t let you listen to the radio, but I’m going to choose, for my purposes here, to go with you wanted my help.

And both of you, or all of you, you all out there- Still want my help on a daily frigging basis.

So why you gotta be so rude? (I can hear the eyeballs rolling as I type.)

How can you act like sitting down to dinner of barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, and rice, is a favor? And that I should be thankful to you to eat the barbecued chicken and rice, the corn is too labor intensive, while sitting next to me. And that I shouldn’t complain when after four minutes you get up to leave. After all, you sat next to me. You didn’t point out that you prefer legs, and mashed potatoes. You didn’t even try to bring it down to the tv room. I got to spend four minutes with you, and you even put your dish somewhere near the sink.

Let me point out, I didn’t even serve a real vegetable in honor of your presence. And that I attempted to look wide awake and interested while you explained, for the 89th times, what “special teams” are in terms of football.

And that just sitting next to me for four minutes isn’t enough.

This is what I want from the people in my life- I would like you to be nice to me.

I would like you to ask about my day before you start walking upstairs to bed.

I would like you to laugh at my jokes. Ok, maybe about a quarter of my jokes. We can work out a signal so that you know that a joke is coming, so that you can laugh. Or chuckle softly. Or even not roll your eyes.

I would like you to say thank you and please when I hand you your laundry instead of pointing out that when Michael’s mom washed your socks, they came back “white, actually, white!!! Can you call her and find out how she did it?”

I would like you to know that sometimes you hurt my feelings.

I know that my feelings are the last things on your mind, and I accept that orchestra, and algebra, and going for a bike ride with Amanda, and procuring money for another trip to Milton House of Pizza, that all of these things are probably a little more on the forefront of your mind than my feelings.

I would like you to know that your friends won’t think you are a complete loser if you say hi to me after the game. And that I will rent Spiderman two if you’ll hold my hand when it gets scary.

And I’d like you to know that even when you hurt my feelings, I get over it pretty quick.

And I start thinking about what it would be like if I stopped driving you to practice, or making sure you have enough money for snacks, or reminding you about the project due on Monday.

Sometimes I have a lot of free time. To think.

I’m just sayin”