Like today. Breakfast out, followed by a hearty doing of nothing, and then Katie and Chipper called in rapid succession and then Paul called and said let’s go for a walk and I said I’d already arranged to go see Katie so I had to call back Katie to get the ok to have BOTH grandparents descend at once and she said yeah whatever, by which I mean to say she kind of sounded stuffing deficient.
Jesus, the point loading of Buster’s feet is like a war crime. Okay, still gasping a little from the surprise.
Where was I. Oh yeah. So we stop at Katie’s and hang for a while and my god Alex is, like, so happy to see both of us – he will NOT stop smiling. HE HAS A SMILE THAT SAYS “I HAVE SIX TEETH. BEHOLD MY TEETH. I HAVE A TREMENDOUS QUANTITY OF DENTITION.” Seriously. Nobody has been that happy to see me since I settled a debt. And it’s not fair, because he’s been a right bear to Katie all morning and the second we show up he lights up like a Christmas tree and stays that way. It is possible he was in his crabbiness objecting to his mother wearing makeup for her driver photo (a discrete amount, and a discreet amount.)
We pick up the CAR SEAT OF HOLY VIRGIN HOW MUCH DO IT WEIGH and remove the three canoe paddles and the bike rack from the back seat and then Paul doing the stuff, stuff, stuff of the CAR SEAT of HVHMDIW into the back seat, because it’s super hard to get the seatbelt past all of its hangup points and then we stuff Alex into it. Katie aims at getting her L today but with Alex like dat who knows. One cannot plan. One can only jump in and go where life, or in this case, your father’s car, can take you.
We go to Paul’s for lunch which is leftovers and fresh corn and bread and chasing cats across filthy floors – Katie doesn’t believe in overprotecting a child from household dirt and he was shiny with grime in some spots by the time he had given full faith and credit to his mother’s parenting style. She mopped him before we left.
I collect Mike’s birthday present and stuff it in the trunk. The gift is a long term loan of a mandolin whose provenance is much clearer than its ownership, being Edith, the little Aria mandolin which first came into our family when Keith decided to take lessons. It came to live with me and then it went back to Paul’s but he never played it so I suggested another berth and Paul enthusiastically agreed.
Katie decides rather than going straight home to her place we are definitely going to the Drivers’ licence place and she’s gonna do the test and Alex, sensing his cue, passes out like a good little lad, and Katie goes in for the test and the rest of us wait in the car and so Paul and I catch up on not much since we saw each other so recently, and Katie texts that everybody trotted off to lunch (they take lunch late because people come in on their lunch breaks) and so she waits a fair while to take her test.
Alex wakes up after a nice nap and starts to roar in a very soft, puzzled, low key kind of way, thrashing about looking for mum. I wander around the back of the parking lot with him, humming “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and he fusses and kicks and growls and does this high pitched whine, brief but indelible in the tinnitus-inducing sense of the word, and then I CAN’T BELIEVE IT he relaxes in my arms, starts to yawn and is commencing to grumble his way back to sleep (so long as I keep holding him) when his mother dances into view and he commences with that extremely vigorous kicking like holy shit I’ma break a rib. HE IS HAPPY. We stop at Home Hardware for a bucket (Paul is feeling fine, thanks for asking) so he can collect graywater when he showers and then we drop off Katie and go for a walk in the Quay.
On the way back I can’t stand how lonely I am without my friend Beer handy, so Paul got cider and I got an India Session Ale from Red Racer and then I tell Paul that I’ve been practicing Dave Carter’s When I Go and have actually worked it out on the mandolin and we play that for a while and sing our way through it once and then Jeff and I watched Sunset Boulevard for the first time each and so to bed.
What a day. Weather has been stunning. Zero writing, but I don’t care. Tomorrow is going to be amazing.