This weekend my son’s school had a dance. I learned about it at 3pm yesterday. The dance was scheduled for 6:30. Here’s how it happened. One of Patrick’s friends was scheduled to come over for as much of the weekend as we all enjoyed. As the boys got into the car David (we’ll call him David, since that’s not his real name) said he wanted to go to the dance, and Patrick wanted to go with him.
Patrick doesn’t care for dances. I’m not quite sure exactly why. Still, there it is. I knew he was being polite in agreeing to go with David, and I’m all for him stretching his comfort zone, so I said fine, the dance it will be. We swung by the grocery store and bought healthy goodies (both boys are in wrestling, and training for the Regionals, and hopefully State), and started for Step Ahead. The boys stayed an hour, then I picked them up and headed for home.
The plan was to go to Ron’s, a local diner, for dinner. “Want to go now, or on the way to the dance?” I asked.
“Let’s go now,” said Patrick. “That way we won’t spill on our good clothes.”
“Good thinking,” said David.
So to Ron’s we went. Ron’s is small, has battered wooden booths and tables, and makes the most amazing hamburgers and beer batter fries I’ve had since Charburger stopped worrying about whether their buns were stale.
We talked. It turned out both Patrick and David are in art class. It also turned out that David likes to write; he’s planning a series of seven novels. All have been titled. He has the first 34 pages of the first one written. We talked about how he might turn that into a book, and how I might help him do that.
At home, the boys got dressed for the dance, decided they’d like to be fashionably late, and sat down to play video games. When the hour was fashionable enough to suit them I drove them to the school, dropped them off, reminded them to stay inside, confirmed the time I should pick them up, and drove back home to put my feet up.
After the dance I picked them up. Patrick was saying, “I hate dances.” David was full of how much he’d enjoyed it, and how he’d even persuaded Patrick to dance a bit. I listened, and didn’t say much. Dances were forbidden for religious reasons when I was in school; listening to the boys talk about something I had never experienced was both a revelation and a pleasure. I’m so happy I can give him this, was what I actually thought. And then I wondered if Patrick dislikes dances because he doesn’t know how to do it. Maybe I should sign him up for dance classes, I thought. Maybe we need to talk about this. And then I thought, Don’t pick at him. He’s only fourteen. He’s finding his way. Give him a little time. See if he comes to like them on his own. But maybe I should ask…
At home the boys settled on the living room floor for what apparently turned into a night of games and movies. I worked for a while, then went to bed. Leroy took himself off to my meditation room, where he could sit in peace and quite and lovely energy. Lilo came and curled up in my lap.
Leroy says the television finally went off at six this morning. We all slept till noon. Mindful of wrestling training, I gave the boys a healthy breakfast. Afterward we all hung out in the kitchen–all four of us–talking and laughing. The boys are in the living room playing games again. Lila is now trying to balance on my shoulder while I work some more. She’s purring.
So what’s the point of this blog? Nothing, really. Probably no one but I will remember this weekend. While a good time is being had by all, no one is going to pick this out as the highlight of a life. It’s simply a good place and time, one of a thousand such moments that I increasingly want to hold onto because as Patrick grows I can see them slipping by. This is my life.
This week I blogged about poor sportsmanship, and how angry it made me, and what I did about it. I’ve been blogging, facebooking, tweeting, and emailing about the situation in Wisconsin. I am in an all-too-familiar position, waiting for an overdue check to arrive. Taxes and finalizing the bankruptcy are both looming. All those things are real. But so is this wonderful, loving, nurturing weekend.
The paradox of my life is that while my civic and financial life is as fraught as everyone’s right now–I, too, worry about the projected increase in food prices, the GOP’s efforts to dismantle the recent legislative advances, and the attacks on women’s reproductive health and rights–my private life is a wonderful place to be. Years ago, when my nephews were little and we had season passes to Disneyland, I resolved that I wanted my home to be a “laughing place,” in the words of Brer Rabbit. Today it occurs to me that it has become exactly that not only for me, but for Leroy, for Patrick, for his friends, and for Lila and Lilo.
As Dickens put it, these are the best of times–and the worst of times. I’ve been talking about the worst of times–I just wanted to share a bit of the best of times, too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I will be enjoying mine, here in my laughing place.