Upon walking into my home you won’t immediately see anything different. A new pair of shoes by the door. The strange sounds of Japanese men singing and playing….something…on TV.
Depending on the time of day he’ll be eating his morning gruel or his afternoon Ramen noodles. I suspect routines mean a lot to elderly people.
Bill shakes his head. “He wants Ramen…again…” And I say…”He’s 95. Let him eat donuts every day if he wants to.” Or, sometimes when I’m feeling particularly snarky, “Clearly he’s doing something right he’s made it this far.”
Bill has warned me, “He’s opinionated, and thinks he knows the best way to do everything.” I gaze at him with my wide brown eyes and wait silently. I wait for him to realize he has just described himself. When he doesn’t immediately understand I help him out.
“So, when I married you, I got two for the price of one?”
“I got two of you, two of the same person, for the price of one husband.”
“I think so.”
Poor Ellie. Ellie isn’t elderly but she doesn’t like change much either. Especially when they come in the package of a large (to her) man who speaks a strange language, and who speaks it much too loudly.
She’s dealing with this change the way any three year old would.
She is completely losing her mind.
Tantrums, screaming fits, throwing fits, aggressively hitting Benji, or me, or anyone in her way.
She is now on day 4 with no Kindle, and no TV. I know. I should cut her some slack. But then, when do I ever stick to my guns? When is it the perfect time to do what I say, and to back up threatened discipline with actual follow-through?
The time is now. Plus, she’s started hitting me. That is not acceptable.
Anyway, someone asked how I was coping. I know mom would prefer me to answer - prayer is all I need!
But in reality I am ordering Dairy Milk chocolate bars by the truckload and that occasional glass of wine has become not so occasional. Oh, wait, do we not talk about those things? Well, it’s what’s happening with me right now and it’s how I’m coping.
That and spending lots of time in the garden while Bill is home from work helping his dad settle. Far as I see it, he’s here to help me and the kids settle too. And that means letting me hack away at the soil, aggressively weeding and hauling rocks around organizing my perfect planting spots. For hours. Nothing like mud to my elbows to make me feel human again.
Right now solitude is my friend. It’s a good thing because all my friends are moving away. Calgary, Toronto, and one family is moving all the way to India.
Boys when change happens it doesn’t just peter in it swamps through. Like a Tsunami, clearing everything out, cleaning the stale stuff and disrupting routines. Pushing all my furniture around, literally and figuratively. Completely overwhelming me, rushing over my head while I try to thrash back to the surface.
I can honestly say I'm a hot mess right now. I'm taking it one day at a time. It's all I can do. I'm reduced to cliche's. I'm listening to 'All is Well' meditations and sending prayers for help.
And you know what? Turns out my beautiful little Tsunami has some good ideas. Right now it's just easier ways to organize my garden. Better ways to cook Ramen. But I can already see him changing the course of our family, nudging it a little, adding his own water presence to ours and altering the path we are running.
I don't know where we're going but I know we're going there in love, bound by the cords of family, of duty, of love and responsibility.
Or you know, maybe I've got the analogy all wrong and we're just on our way to a big train wreck. Either way, we're going there together. One cliche at a time.