Monday, October 24, 2005
[phone rongs, machine picks up. it's mommy.]
mommy: hi. how are you?
daddy: [pauses] fine. how are you?
mommy: fine. tired.
daddy: you need to go to bed immediately.
mommy: i'm waiting for dinner.
daddy: you need to go to bed immediately after you eat dinner.
mommy: i know. how are the children?
mommy: did they have a good day?
daddy: they did. do you want to talk to them?
avery: hi mommy. good. yes. uh-huh. okay. i love you. here, daddy.
mommy: she was a little distracted.
daddy: that's because she was watching tv. i told her to talk in here.
avery: preston wants to say hi to mommy.
daddy: then you tell preston to come in here.
preston: [near tears] hi, mommy. no, daddy wouldn't let me. he said i couldn't go until next year. yes. i love you too. okay. bye.
mommy: didn't preston go to chess club today?
daddy: didn't we say he'd missed too many, and he'd go to the next session? didn't we talk about this?
mommy: okay, that's fine.
daddy: yeah, well, he's all bent out of shape about it.
mommy: it's fine, he can go to the next one. my dinner's here.
daddy: all right. eat dinner and go to sleep.
mommy: i will.
daddy: all right.
mommy: you doing okay?
mommy: i'll call you tomorrow.
daddy: that'll be good. sleep well.
mommy: i'll try. you too.
daddy: oh, i will.
mommy: love you.
daddy: love you too.
mommy: 'kay. bye.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
i saw joan this weekend.
she was at the front door when we drove up to her house. she opened the screen and stepped out, waving. "hi, guys!" she said, just like always.
she was working in the kitchen in the morning, making coffee, teasing me that it was decaf. she laughed when i told her she wasn't funny, that she shouldn't mess with my caffeine addiction.
she padded up and down the hall in her slippers, bringing out more cereal, paper towels, chips, all of which she kept who knows where.
she was on the back patio, by the pool, reading the morning paper. kitty frank wove in and around her legs, looking for attention.
she tended to her desert landscaping in the back--the gardens were gorgeous and quiet and comforting as i wandered through them.
i jogged through the park north of joan's house, and thought of her. i shopped for groceries at fry's and remembered her there.
the toilet overflowed one night, and joan laughed loudly while don crossly and unsuccessfully used the plunger. quite amused, she was.
there won't be any more halloween cards from granny joan for the kids. no more thanksgiving visits, or christmas boxes in the mail. no more birthday cards with inflammatory political news clippings. joan was a constant presence at our house, no matter how far away we lived.
sunday morning, joan cried a little and hugged us tight. she wished we didn't have to leave so soon.