One year ago, at this exact moment in time, The Genius’ cell phone decided to bust open his 4 year affair by letting me in on the double life he was leading. One. Year. Ago.
It goes without saying, but I can’t help myself, I cannot believe it’s been a whole year.
Sitting in front of me is my new favorite cocktail. The Clear Conscience. I’m a margarita girl, but this one has me smitten. It’s a bit spicy, a bit sweet, fresh as an English cucumber and has the perfect kick. Plus you can eat the cucumber when you’re done, which basically makes it a vegetable and not a cocktail. I’m going to whip up another tomorrow evening and use the rest of the ginger syrup to make homemade ginger ale for the boys. It’s a win-win all the way around.
She was right. Spa water with booze in it. Thank you to Bettina, the Proprietor at Angéle in Napa for sharing the recipe with us. I’ll be back to dine in your beautiful boat house soon, I hope.
Oh, my arachnid…this is SO, so good. Must pause to savor…
That is magic. Just like my day.
Which started off just after midnight with me being chastised via text by The Genius for not caring about what it feels like for him to have been discarded by me. That I have no empathy.
I’ll have another sip while you get up off the floor.
I just shook my head and went to bed. It was the first of many signs today that The Pocket Call was a gift, for which I will be eternally grateful. I swear. Although I want to be cremated, if I have a tomb stone somewhere I want it to read,
Even in death, she is
eternally grateful for
The Pocket Call
I spent my morning surrounded by joyful children while volunteering in the little dude’s computer class. 23 kindergartners and 25 minutes to power up, create art, type their name and print it out. The cries of I need help, thick like the song of cicadas on a hot summer day, were pierced by the tears of a girl at the end of a row.
Why the tears, honey?
I don’t know how to do this.
She was playing me a little, but I also could sense that she was intimidated by the task.
You can do this. First, type your name. So, let’s go to the ABCs.
She brought up a text box and, looking up at me with blue eyes weighted down by the last tears still to fall, she said, I don’t see an S.
Well, all the letters are there, so take you time. You’ll find it.
I moved on to others singing for help. Glancing up the row I could see her hunched over, head in her hands, crying. After a few minutes I made another pass down the row, checking their progress (these kids really know their way around computers). I paused at the end, where the sobs had subsided and the name was one letter shy of complete. She hit that last key and looked up at me. She was beaming. I knelt down and looked her in the eyes.
I am really proud of how you persevered. How you didn’t quit. She looked deeply into my eyes. I held her gaze, which was going nowhere. She was locked in on me.
Believe in yourself, S. I believe in you.
And then we hugged.
She has no idea the lesson she has taught me. Persevere. Don’t quit. Believe in yourself. She created those words in me. I said them for her, but they were meant for us both. The perfect words to carry through to Act Two. I bloomed for the rest of the afternoon, playing with the boys, doing homework and catching up after having been apart for four days.
I told them about my seal encounter, the beautiful party for my Aunt Awesome, and updated them on the adventures of all their cousins. They told me about their trip to Limantour with The Genius and the Happy Dance Chick (Is it possible to sage a national seashore?), watching Men in Black 3 (I will resist commenting on this.), and then the little dude says,
The Happy Dance Chick came over.
I’ll pause to sip, but only because you have to get up off the floor again. One of these times you’re going to hurt yourself.
I didn’t skip a beat. She did? Here? Spoken as calmly as if I said, Would you like me to rub your feet, honey?
Did you show them your room?
Well, that was very nice of you.
I stepped out of the room, into my bathroom and smiled in the mirror. He’s amazing.
Prior to leaving for Los Angeles, the boys had told me that The Happy Dance chick was coming north for the weekend. Darn, I thought she could meet me for lunch in LA. That morsel prompted me to text The Genius and inform him of the obvious: She was not permitted in the home in which I live. If he was not moved into his apartment and was alone he could stay here with the boys (for the last time) or choose to stay in a hotel. But she was not to be in the house or on the property.
This afternoon The Genius arrived to take the boys for a few hours while I attended a meeting. I asked him to step outside. I don’t recall if I posed it as a question or a statement – I was too focused on remaining ultra calm – but I let it be known that I knew she was in the house. He got defensive and then blurted out the excuse that it was logistics and he had to pack the boys’ things for their weekend away.
Oh. She couldn’t wait at a park? Starbucks? The corner?
I walked away. And without much effort at all, I remained calm. I was really struck by that fact. He completely disregarded my justifiable request, and it didn’t get under my skin. The Happy Dance Chick was in my house, and I just laughed and shook my head. I felt better for doing so. To have gotten angry or confrontational would only make me feel crappy. I don’t like to feel crappy, and I would have accomplished absolutely nothing.
There is no making sense in a bat-crazy world.
I came back from my meeting and spent the evening steeping my ginger and teaching the boys the game of football. As the light began to change I looked over my shoulder to check out the sunset. It was the most stunning sunset I have seen from this house.
This was my reward. My reward for all the excavation, the times when I had to be super brave, the times when I felt shredded, all the tears. My reward for getting to a point where I can remain centered even when I have every reason to blow a gasket. Now I smile and I laugh and I am thankful for every second I am here. Right here, right now. The boys and I ran outside to soak in the pinks and golds and oranges and purples and yellows. I marveled at how perfect this sunset was and how perfect this day felt. I had excitement building in my core from day break on, and the elegant sunset served to confirm that it was the right feeling to embrace.
The Pocket Call was a gift. So tonight I celebrate it. Not me. It.
For tomorrow there will be more head shaking…