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11:08 a.m. - 2009-12-18
No biggie? I'll be the judge of that, thanks.

Spoiled. I am spoiled.

Maybe not spoiled completely rotten, because spoiled rotten people expect to have everything done for them and handed to them and for the world to clean up their messes and let them have their selfish, bratty way all the darn time, and this I definitely do not do. I appreciate my spoiling and do not take it for granted. I am mindful and hope I never become complacent and entitled. Don't think I will, this spoiling of mine came late in life. Late enough for me to have the eyes in my head to see how good I have it and won't ever get to a point where it ceases to be a big deal.

Came downstairs this morning to a sparkling clean kitchen, an empty dishwasher, scoured sinks, and as I made my rounds of kitchen, bathroom, and office I saw every trash can had been emptied and lined with a fresh bag. Opened the fridge to milk my coffee and there was a tidy row of Diet Coke and another of Blue Moon. For me, so I have the cold beverage of my choice. Mick drinks neither.

"Jeeze, LA, you're easy to please."

Yeah, I am. This, I think, is what was so shaming and maddening all those years. It truly wouldn't have taken much and yet I wasn't even given that. Sure, I had the equation backward and let others' shoddy behavior be the measure of my own worth, but when you've always been the beaten dog how can you know otherwise? So I could yearn for such outré things as a thank-you for the dinner I cooked and that maybe, maybe the house I cleaned wouldn't be completely trashed every damn day, you know, some kind of notice and care taken with the things I did, but when it never happened how could I not feel that what I did and who I was were worthless? If I mattered at all surely somebody would say, "Hey, that floor is really clean and shiny, think I'll take my greasy muddy work boots off so I won't crap it all up."

Little things DO mean a lot. And hell yes, it's the thought that counts.

The crumb-free counters? The empty trash cans this morning? Those say, "I saw the scrubbed bathroom I showered in this morning, so here's a clean kitchen, thanks." They say, "Our life together matters." The chilled Diet Coke? Those cans say, "I love you."

Foolish? Dopily romancing the mundane? Making feasts from scraps again? I don't think so. Or if I am a foolish dope then I'm not the only one in this house. Mick sees the "I love you" in the things I do too. Sees them, appreciates them, and doesn't take them for granted either. A confederacy of dunces built for two, perhaps.

Built for three. Wolf is included in this too. Yesterday his bus broke down in the school parking lot and Wolf insisted that someone call me to let me know they'd be late coming home. He saw my wrecked face when they were so late on Tuesday and he would NOT have me worried like that again. Last night as he and I wrapped up the big plate of cookies he and I baked for him to share with his pals today at lunch, he squeezed me tight and said he had the best mom in the world.

Truly the son learns from the father. At least the father he lives with every day. As Alex learned from his father to be careless of me, to thoughtlessly wreck his things and the house, to sneer and complain and never, ever say, "Thank you". So Wolf is learning from Mick. Wolf is part of the appreciation festival around here and is praised often, hugged when he is thoughtful, and is taught by Mick's example. Plus, unlike Wolf's 'Cat's in the Cradle' absent father, Mick is never too busy for a game of cards or to help with homework.

When Mike punked out on the long promised trip to Texas for Christmas, not one bitter word did Mick say in front of Wolf. Instead he hugged our boy and said he was glad we'd all be together. Brought home an Advent calendar for the kid. There've been whispered plans made for a men together shopping trip and speculation over what to get Mom.

The funny thing is how easy it all is. How natural. It's not difficult in the least to have this good life.

Mick and I will always have our battles, we come at things too differently not to. Snuggle-bunny Wolf may morph into a prickly defiant teenager and do his best to drive us mad. He might spit in Mick's face and make a hero of his indifferent Disney Dad. There will be things, there's always things to make rough spots in the smoooove. But when the storms pass- the financial, the philosophical, the hormonal, Life will even out again. In the meantime there's a lovingly tended home and the inhabitants within.

And cold Diet Coke in the fridge.


Sappy and happy, ~LA

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