Friday, July 27, 2012
July 27th, 2012
Woke up too early with Indy's eyes shining up at me, blinking like soft bats in the dawn. She hasn't slept a night in her own bed since her dad left. They fight over his pillow and one or the other takes it to bed every night, robbing it from me, the lonely wife. Rolled over and sent a text begging off an invitation for a short hike to a swim hole. Didn't have a backpack or the energy. Fell back asleep.
Later, after the mist had burned off, the thought of hot coffee in the stovetop espresso pot got me out of bed. The girls had carried all their blankets and pillows to the living room. My footsteps on the hardwood floors were their cue to start fighting. Fighting before coffee is strictly forbidden. Somehow it happens anyway. The girls are relentless, they miss their dad, they are in a strange land and overwhelmed. Relentless needs, relentless boredom, relentless fighting but deeply felt kisses and snuggles at night. If I spend too much time alone in the house with them, I won't make it. I know this. 66 days of 75 alone to go. I texted again, taking back what I'd turned down. Plans changed, we cancelled the hike. I brewed another pot of coffee over ice this time and drove a van full of children and new friends up to the lake where the retired folks with salted caramel skin dangled in floaties and complained about the cold spots.
We ate peanut butter and jellies and coconut brownies. We got sunburned and nibbled by fish. The girls fought and didn't share and embarrassed me. When I flat out told them this, they replied that I was embarrassing them. Both things were true. Authority is something I never wanted and I never did learn to wear it right. I wield it well only over myself, and even then, there are mishaps. I stay up too late, blow my budget on Thai food. I turn down invitations I should keep, but look, it all comes out all right.
We splashed and sunned and floated until the clouds rolled in, when we packed it up and drove away. By now, I've learned to find my way home.