Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Four In the Bed

Our new home. There are two backyards, one the perfect size for a nice large wooden table and chairs- here where the kids stand- and separated by a rickety, white wooden fence at the strange point where the house almost meets the fence, but not quite!, there is on the other side, grass and a sandbox, and a small patio area where I've put our old white, shabby chic coffee table for Ever's drawings and Play-Doh. Both areas are covered from the San Diego sun. I love this.

Dakota came from Long Beach right after we moved in and I snapped this photo. I was so satisfied that Dakota was here for this shot. Taking a 'here are the kids in our new house' photo without him would have been right- he is 20, and lives in Long Beach!- but for me, painful and not right all the same. Taking pictures that mark memories and times in our family life and include the kids but not all the kids is sad for me, every time. No matter how happy, there is a patina to the photo, a bright spot where the flash went off and I think 'that should have been him.' It's always one of the boys, of course, with Dakota being 20 and Ian 17- but already graduated high school- they are the ones missing. And I am the one doing the missing. I miss, all the time, like a low rumbling far inside, the hustle and bustle and noise and life and chaos of having many young kids. I was pretty good at it, I think. I felt alive and inspired and real. I've always had a problem feeling real in the world. I miss Dakota every day. Ian still comes every Friday and we see him at least two days a week, with Friday night still being Family night, so I enjoy the hell out of that, I am there for that all in, because soon…

Ian and I went on a run a few Friday nights ago, and we were talking about what he might do after he gets his associates in college. He mentioned moving to Arizona, at least 'for a while', which wasn't surprising, because he has extended family there and has always visited and loved it. He hunts and the laws there are much easier for hunters. I was telling him that Arizona is a good choice, because inside I was leaping with happiness to think that maybe Arizona would be as far as he'd go, and no more. Dakota always says he thinks he'll move back here to a specific beach community one day, and I like to daydream that all my children will be within reasonable reach when they are grown. Of course, we all know how those plans go, which is why they are daydreams, not plans. Lola has always mused about going to college in New York, and I told this to Ian, who responded ( so sweetly, oh my heart! ) that maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all, Lola is special, Lola is very sweet and innocent and New York might not be a good idea for her. Just last week, Lola told me that really, Ian was her best friend. Those two are so close these last two years, sealed for life. 

The show Parenthood is the dream of my life, along with traveling, changing the world and helping abused or at risk children, publishing a novel and staying healthy. In this show, which many of you probably know, the four adult children of a family are all moved back and living near their parents, most of them- eventually all of them- with kids of their own. Bliss.

Those four faces above, bliss. For as long as I nurse them, sleep with them and keep them home with me, one by one, they keep rolling out of the bed all the same. 
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