My son is the happiest person I know. That’s why it startled me the other day when he leaned his head on my arm and said, “Every day is the same.”
Such raw wisdom deserves more than platitudes. I drew him to me and said, “It can all be so disappointing.”
I believe in empathy:
“A strong sense of empathy allows children to make decisions that are right for them without hurting others or seeking approval or acceptance. This may strengthen them against negative peer pressure and a range of maladaptive behaviors such as substance abuse, bullying, narcissism, aggression or violence against others.” — David Sack, MD
The next day I picked Sullivan up from school 30 minutes early and took him to Kaiser’s for an ice cream soda. That way, everyday would not be the same, at least for once. Our friend Tim joined us.
Before I tell you how life mostly feels like one gigantic episode of watching paint dry, I want to tell you about the magic. There is a lot of it. This picture of Tim is magic.
A photographer can have perfect light, but it is wasted if the subject is void of acceptance, passion, sacrifice, love, forgiveness and belief. Tim has all this and more.
My three children bring me so much joy, I could burst confetti out my ears in the shape of butterflies. Juliette’s love of photography makes me happy. Her pictures make every day not the same. Here is one of my favorites. She took this in the ugliest abandoned lot full of trash and dead dog bones.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. — Desiderata
Below is a picture of the kids in their Easter best. Yes, we believe in color coordinating around here. I told Bridgette her hat was called a fascinator and she told me hat-on-a-headband was a better name.
This carried me for days.
The Dry Slot is on Twitter
The weather in Oklahoma can change dramatically within just a few hours. I guess this has been going on for all of the 30 years I’ve lived here, but it seems like it just started five or six years ago. Maybe social media is to blame. Everyone is constantly documenting the weather on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The pink and orange sunsets. The brutal ice storms. The Christmas Day snowfalls. The perpetual droughts. The ongoing earthquakes. The mind-numbing tornado warnings and the rare F-5s. The other day someone told me the Dry Slot has its own Twitter account.
One day last winter the temperature dropped 40 degrees in two hours. Last spring, the wisteria bloomed just in time to get crushed by ice. It’s all crazy, but we love it. Because, Sully is right. Every day is the same. Except when it isn’t.
Five minutes before I took this picture, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. Sullivan was running around the front yard barefoot and shirtless. Then it started to pour and hail. Robert grabbed his trench coat and Sullivan grabbed the umbrella. It’s broken because all the umbrellas in Oklahoma are broken. The wind busts the rivets from the stretchers and no matter who you are, when this happens, you want to die.
I’d rather wear a rain bonnet than carry a broken umbrella. Look how happy she is. Nobody carrying a broken umbrella is this happy.
So, every day is the same and sometimes I think the sameness is about to kill me. After the kids go to bed, Robert and I try to find something on TV. It’s all murder. Robert says they only do those shows because they’re cheap to make. Fake blood must be a bargain.
In the fall, we replaced the hot water tank. Now, I take long showers because the water stays hot for more than two minutes. It’s awesome. Sometimes, I stand there and let it hit me in the face and sometimes, I lean against the tile and think about my day. I think about how it’s going to be exactly the same as the day before and the day before that. I’ll unload the same dishes, make the same beds and ask the same questions. Boredom is the cousin of loneliness and loneliness is a great discipline.
How To Be Alone
I think I’ve told you about the Canadian poet Tanya Davis? I’m kind of obsessed with her. She’s my Woman Crush Wednesday. Every Wednesday. For the rest of my life. Here is her poem How To Be Alone. Watch it or go here and read it.
Colbert, Ingrid’s in OKC
While I was in the shower I thought about Stephen Colbert who’s taking Letterman’s place on the Late Show. Later, I was driving down Pennsylvania Avenue and passed the building that use to be the old Ingrid’s Bakery #2. There were two back in the day when Ingrid still ran the place. Now, there is just one. Ingrid was from Germany and married a U.S. soldier before she even learned to speak English. He brought her to Oklahoma where she made Turkish macaroons and sold Dr. Brown’s Soda before Gen Y was hip and cool and born.
Sometimes, I wonder, why everything can’t just stay the same even as I am lamenting that the days all are.