August 13, 2007
maybe we shouldn't spread the news. not all of it is good

The Ugly:

My birthday dawned cool and grey and panicked. "What time is Blake's program?" I asked.

"20 minutes from now," the Boy responded, and hurled himself out of bed to find his shorts.

We picked up Blake from Camp Grandpa and took him for his pony ride (no, really, that was his program for the day. It should have been mine.) After the pony had been successfully ridden, we went back to my parents' house to invite them to lunch, an atypical "make my mom happy" lunch of fish n' chips.

I was surprised that the day went so smoothly. The Boy & I started fighting on Tuesday evening and didn't stop until lunchtime on Wednesday. Even after this, arguments flared like sunspots. I was viciously depressed, by turns utterly defeated and afire with pure rage. We even ate Tuesday dinner apart, two lone wolves separately, unhappily prowling around the Entertainment District. But in excess of three hours of Seán Cullen healed the rift between us, or at least allowed us to crutch through my birthday with no more than the usual squabbles. (You can play 'name the speaker': "Put down those old discounted comic books! We're going home!" and "Why did I have to make dinner tonight?")

Unfortunately, we started arguing again after lights-out, and I spent my big birthday night crying to myself in the basement.

I was all set to drive to NY alone, Blake in the back and a song in my heart. I didn't count on another whole morning of argument, one that left my nerves shot beyond redemption. I ended up turning the car around, swallowing my pride, and asking the Boy to drive rather than forfeit my only trip of the summer. Needless to say, the unspoken and uneasy conflict boiling under the surface made for some interesting moments. For the most part I tried not to let anything bother me, or at least come to the surface. No one wants to watch a married couple fight, especially when home is not a convenient refuge for any involved. It took 3 days of festering and one long car-ride home for us to settle anything to our respective satisfactions. That was good timing.

The Fun:

Spending too much at Target and T.J.Maxx with Martha. Loading up on Sugar n' Cream yarn at Michael's and getting a discount for being a teacher. Taking the boys to Thompson Park, one of the top three parks in NY State. Having "boys," plural, to herd and cuddle and soothe and feed and run and watch. (One stranger saw them in the Radio Flyer and asked if they were twins. I snorted with laughter…then looked again and conceded her point. Fraternal = definite possibility. Blake is slight and Jack is strong. They're starting to meet at the median.) Seeing all the adults bitten with the euchre bug, and playing friendly games of cards. Drinking reasonably, not enough to make anyone sick. Smoking moderately. Sleeping in the guest bed, with a better mattress than the bed at home. The Crystal! Ice cream in Sackett's Harbour. That assy pirate festival in Alex Bay that made us all appreciative of the understated glory that is Thompson Park. Watching Preacher laugh at Hot Fuzz. Also, finding yaaaarn at the Pirate Festival. The hammock. Dumb picture opportunities (see: yaaaarn).

The Neutral:

Cleaning up after all of Blake's accidents (at least three of which occurred in the middle of the night and one in the car). Dirk's continued absence, physically and mentally. Stony silences whenever the Boy & I were alone. Blake grabbing toys and trashing the family room with watch-setting predictability. Fumbling with local currency. Cat dander.

I clearly owe some pictures, don't I?

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*