Friday, November 13, 2020

14 Years

 Kaio's slept way past his first class every day this week. He sleeps downstairs in the guest room because his bed is still covered in Halloween candy. First class in his virtual school day starts at 7:30am. He needs to just roll out of bed and walk over to the computer to log in. No one uses their cameras anymore. So he could take class half asleep, rolled up in a blanket. But he doesn't wake up. After the third day of this, I decided to take away his ipad, because it's keeping him up all night responding to tiktok followers, or gossiping about the Vegan Teacher. But then even yesterday morning he didn't wake up in time. Maybe his body just needs more sleep. Maybe virtual learning isn't real enough to feel like it matters. It's like the red light tickets that come in the mail, pretty easy to ignore until they eventually stop sending you bills. What, you don't do that?

Last night Kaio poured himself a big glass of milk, to try to make himself sleepy. Seeing him in the kitchen, fourteen years old, drinking that glass milk, it brought me back to 3am with him as an infant. I would nurse him in the rocker downstairs, and sing Bob Marley songs to try to get him to fall back asleep. I thought for a second of singing that to him now to help him sleep, but realized it would not go over well. 

But with my memory of the past imposed on the present, I saw both Kaios side by side. Like a baby picture of him right next to a 14 year old picture of him. Or one of those tiktok videos that plays dual screen. Then present me asked past me if this was what I imagined being a parent would be like, if this was the kind of moment that I wished for when I wanted to have kids.  Past me didn't need to answer, because of course it is. Moments like that, in the kitchen together, drinking a glass of milk and chatting, those are the moments that make bonds and friendship, and make life worth living. 

And then leaning on the frigerator, standing in an awareness that traversed time, I tried to imagine how it would be in the next 14 years, seeing him as an adult talking to me. I envisioned him big and broad like my brother, eyes like Mariano and with that same rambling excitement, talking about whatever it is that his is doing in the future. 

I don't know if it will happen. I don't know if I'll get another 14 years with him. I sure hope so. I know that at 3am in that rocker, 14 years seemed a world away. And here I am, in the same place, still just trying to figure life out, confronting the challenges as they come, and not feeling like all the different a person than I was back then. And then I just felt really lucky to have made it this far, to have Kaio in my life and have gotten to spend 14 years with him. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Over the Hill

I work up at 3 in the morning. I'm not sure why. It was partly the heat from being squished between Tori and Mariano in bed. Tori has her own bed, in our same room, next to our bed. But she still gets up and curls up next to me. And I like holding her, so I don't complain. Except that she kicks me in the middle of the night, and almost always wakes me up. 

I got up to check what time it was, and get some water. But then both the cats must have realized that something was happening, because they came to the back door for me to let them in, and then purred and begged for food. I opened a can of tuna, and now they're face down, huffing it. 

Yesterday was my 40th Birthday. I had hoped to celebrate on a beach, like I celebrated the last two years in Hawaii. So this year my day dream was so go to Goa, visit India, maybe do some yoga. But this year COVID virus grounded us and the whole world. So I didn't really want to do anything to celebrate. I had been stressing over today for months in a weird way. Like, worried that people would make a big deal out of it. Worried that I had to do something special because it was a big number. In the end, it was nothing special. I took the day off of work, my mom called, Mariano's mom called. Mariano made me breakfast and got Sunflower for dinner. The kids needed to be reminded to hug me. Dad dropped off a fancy toilet seat, which is what I told him I wanted. Some people wrote messages on Facebook, or sent me texts. No party, no cake, no singing, no big deal. Just me and the family, the cats, and my own thoughts on life, past, present and future.

If anything this virus has bought me into my center to find an inner peace. I've started meditating every day, and haven't drank any alcohol or even coffee for over a month. Just on the chocolate. Every day the chocolate. There's been some good that has come out of it COVID. Like we've gotten to spend much more time together as a family, really slow down. No more afterschool activities, no more school even. So I can't complain too much. I'm happy with where we are at, I really am.

My birthday present to myself was a tattoo. I've been wanting a henna shoulder for like 6 years now. But felt paralyzed by not knowing where to go, how to afford it, or exactly what artwork to get. This year, with no where to go for my birthday, it would have to happen. I checked a studio by our house, and found an artist there with a style that seemed like it would fit. Kinda lucky for me she had space on her books because of COVID cancellations, and I was able to get in within a month. 

So like everything lately, I had an intention, and it came true. 

The color is a little off from what I wanted. I had wanted a light brown, but I got drawn into the name of this color being "Chocolate Brown." Taught me a lesson about not judging a color by its name. Well if it doesn't fade to brown, I could maybe have her trace over it? Idk.

My mom flipped out. Which was unexpected. I did not realize that she was so anti-tattoo. But when she saw it, she started crying and saying that she wanted to kill herself. We were at the chocolate factory, and it was so weird. I went to talk to her outside, and she told me that truck drivers get tattoos, and what did she do wrong to have be come out so different from her? She would never think to get a tattoo or do drugs. Why couldn't I be more like Donald Trump's kids? His kids are so perfect. 

The next day she said that she was moving to Florida. 

I was not enjoying living in the same house. Because we were working together at the factory too, I just felt like I was being micromanaged all the time about how to run my business and how to parent the kids. But when we would talk of moving, she would tell us not to go. When we would be out of town, she would talk about being scared and lonely in the house at night. So I felt like she needed us. But then it turned out that she had been wanting to move to Florida for a long time now, but thought that we needed her here to help with the kids and business. So seems like the tattoo was a good thing. The tattoo was the conduit for her realizing that she needed something different, and me getting the space that I needed too.  So far it seems like she's enjoying it there. Her knees haven't been hurting, and almost everyone she talks to is a Trump supporter. I hope that she doesn't get lonely and enjoys herself.

So that's me, that's this moment. After mom left, I went through a nesting phase. I think it was in prep for my birthday, this feeling of "I'm a grown up, I should live in a house that is nice." So I repainted the walls in the living room and kitchen, and also got some new-to-us furniture off facebook marketplace. I actually prefer used furniture because it doesn't off gas, and I don't have to worry about not scratching it up or keeping it nice. Now that the kids are teens, we needed a bigger sofa. We had a love seat before, and it couldn't even fit 3 of us to watch a movie together. We also could barely fit at the little dinky table to eat meats together. The two pieces that I found, both within 3 miles of our house, are perfect. The new colors make the place look more modern, and depending on the light, they are similar to the colors in our River-Sea logo. I was trying not to make them the same, but then I also love our logo colors, so I'm happy with it.

I almost made the mistake of buying the brown color that had the word "Chocolate" in it. But, having learned the lesson from that problem with my tattoo, I chose a different color that had a warmer shade, and I'm glad that I did. It looks lovely.

Because we have such little square footage, like less than 1400 ft for 5 people, the house was cluttered. I did some major decluttering though, and got a shelf for the kitchen to help store things, instead of in a pile or on the counter, like before. We have these huge 100lb bags of rice and beans (because of the food shortages from COVID), and they have been taking up space on our kitchen floor. But now it's looking much better. I think we may be able to keep the place this tidy.

Well that's it. Gonna try to go back to sleep since I have a lot to do at the Chocolate Factory tomorrow. I think my next intention should be to write more. Catch this blog up a bit, since it's been more than 2 years since my last post and so much had happened. 


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