Monday, July 31, 2006
Our worries are over - I can tell because my acid reflux is in overdrive. As soon as the scare passes, when the danger is over, the nerves settle and the acid kicks up. J attended the first day of camp and he loves it. This morning, early, early, he was nervous. Mad nervous. He snapped at D on the way there. He scowled and spit out negativity when he got assigned to a band. His tics were noticeable. But later, as D was leaving the school, J smiled and waved and D had hope for the day.
So it was all good from there. Thank goodness. The camp had meant the world to him and I was so worried and here we are, all in bed, getting ready for another day.
We'll be out tomorrow - Natural History Museum for A, M, and the cousins. We've been busy. Saturday was Newport Dunes, Sunday was a big bike ride at the Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale. Fifteen miles for A and me, fifteen miles of a bike path that ended up at my mother's old townhouse in Duarte. It was strange seeing the place again, strange to see A and J's names scratched in the concrete outside the sliding glass door. The new owner had come out because the dogs were barking and because A and I were looking into her yard. I said to her when she stepped outside, "My mother used to live here. We're just reminiscing."
She introduced herself and said warmly, "My neighbor speaks of your mother with such fondness. I think I met your brother. What a hard time that was. Let me get my boys so you can meet them. Come on in. We love this house so much."
I got a little choked up but reigned it all in. She said, "Thank you for selling us this place."
A and I toured the yard, and I saw that they kept the miniature rose bushes my mother had planted and the life-size clay ducks that had once been at my house, put there by a stranger the morning after my father had died, and the dirt-filled herb pots with the scooped openings. The place was a little messy, evidence of a busy family. Which made me happy - my mother would have been pleased that two little boys continued to march around the garden, just like my two had.
Afterwards, A and I rode to the corner 7-11 and had Slurpees, oh yeah, the sour watermelon, a new flavor, and I watched the grey skies as I stood next to the bikes, remembering how many times we'd been there before, A just a toddler.
Today, as we passed the same spot on the 210, on our way to pick up J from his day at camp, A pointed out the path we'd been on, "There it is! Under the bridge, we were there." Like validation. Like an assurance we’d really been on that path, we really had ridden the fifteen miles, and visited a place that seemed to only exist in our imagination for the longest of times. Yes, yes, my mother really did exist. She was real, as real as the names scratched into the concrete that had once been fresh and wet.
I’m in bed now, the notebook heating my legs, making me sweat because I’m under a blanket. The day’s over…and fast as anything, it’s going to enter memory and act like a figment of my imagination.