Sunday, May 31, 2015

painted trains

over the river and through the hood

sleeping through the second shift

On the weekends BC comes home I sleep. It is the sleep of a drowsy driver who finally surrenders to the side the road. Falling into slumber, gently rocked by the turbulence of long haul truckers passing in the night.   
With BC home, I sneak off to my room to lay down in the coolness of the blue sheets and listen to the sounds of my life happening without me.  
Some of the time I fall into deep sleep. 
The same sleep I had the night we drove the old green VW heavily loaded with kids across the California desert. As I recall I was heavily loaded too, 7 months pregnant with Beach. Somewhere on the wrong side of too late the van began overheating. 
I wasn't the driver but I refused to sleep as we crawled through the night hazards blinking trying to make it to the safety of Victorville and its row of over price mechanic shops. 
At hour 18 of what was supposed to be a 12 hour red-eye drive into Carlsbad BC pulled over in a rest area. I remember the way my hips ached as I climbed awkwardly into the pop-tent bunk. The smell of the musty sleeping bags and then work of letting go so I could catch a few hours of sleep. Four hours later, out of nothingness, I woke to harsh morning light beating down through the windshield and a tow truck.
Most of the time though, I am barely asleep. I catalog the colors sound makes in my head. A small wrench hitting the driveway: tiny black and white checkerboard. BC calling one of the kids: yellow. Beach's bird demanding a peanut: bright startling neon pink. Beach's voice: soft watery blue.
At one point yesterday afternoon I heard BC enter the room, stand quietly for a moment, then slip back out without a word. He learned a long time ago to make peace and even function out of the exhaustion I create for myself. Years ago he scaled back the fight about me needing to learn to pace myself. He completely gave up nagging me for long road trips about sleeping in the car so I would be well rested for my shift behind the wheel. Now he always drives second. That way at least he will be rested for the second shift. And from the passenger seat I can ride my stubborn tiredness as far down the black highway as I want...
...telling myself, I will sleep when we get there; I will sleep when he comes back. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

adventures in schooled kids

Last week the kid and I went to the zoo to see the animals. 
Encounter number 1: 
Schooled Kid A: "LOOK at the tiger!" 
Schooled Kid B: "That's a lion you idiot!"
Schooled Kid C: "A chicken!"
Beach: "Um, actually that's a Seagull."
Group leader: "Hurry up you only have 20 minutes left!" 
Encounter number 2:
Schooled Kid D: "Is that dinosaur real?"
Schooled Kid E: "No of course not. They keep the real ones in cages."
Beach: "You do know that dinosaurs are extinct?"
Schooled Kid E: "No they're not, they are made of rubber."
Schooled Kid C: "A chicken!"
Beach: "No, that's a Peacock"
Group leader: "Hurry up you only have 20 minutes left!" 
Encounter number 3:
Schooled Kid F : "Oh my god sharks!"
Schooled Kid B: "Whales you idiot!" 
Zoo Docent: "Actually these are seals."
Beach laughing too hard to talk.
Encounter number 4:
Schooled Kid C: "Opossum!" 
Beach, under her breath: "Armadillo, but you were close."
Group leader: "Hurry up you only have 20 minutes left!" 
Encounter number 5: 
Schooled Kid G: "Does this zoo have unicorns? I want to see the unicorns."
Group leader: "Let's hurry up here we only have 20 minutes left!" 
Encounter number 6:
Schooled Kid C: "MONKEYS!!!!!"
Beach: "Hey, they finally got one right! Good for them."
Group leader: "Hurry up you only have 20 minutes left!"
Beach: "I see why schooled kids struggle with elapsed time- their adults don't get it either."

all summer in a day

At 6 AM she was on the stairs in her riding boots. Dressed and determined to see 'her' horse. But the weather won't give her a break. She will have to wait until the weekend. 
Give the sun a chance... perhaps we might hang the whole state out on the line to dry.
So she did give up the boots, but not the riding pants or the longing for a little pony at the end of a distant road. 
We spent the morning visiting Ancient Rome and working on her 'book'. 
After lunch we wandered outside. 
These days a little bit of sun goes a long ways. 
Rumor has it there is a change in the forecast for these parts.
 ...and just in case you never read it Ray Bradbury's All Summer In A Day.