Susan's Blog

Monday, July 2, 2007

Thoughts On An Anniversary

Now a popsicle orange sun sets on July 1, melting into the purple bottoms of long flat clouds. Flashes of light are filtered through short muscular trees.

But in the morning the clouds warred with the sun; half the sky was scrubbed blue, half, hairy gray. Which would win? I took sips of not-sweet-enough coffee and watched. Too lazy to add more Splenda, I read a Cosmo that I had already read. A sexy short story, badly written, surprisingly arousing. Mind wandered to Ned, of course, buried under silky beige comforter and four pillows. Sleeps down deep, like he’s under water.

There suddenly appeared to be more blue than gray now. More coffee would help. Yes, I think the day will be saved, after all. No need to come up with an alternate plan. No need to explain a hike in the woods to Nat. But shouldn’t we do something different sometimes? But no. The capricious ocean waits, rolling impatiently in her bed of warm soft sand. The sweetness of sunblock in the air mingles with the quieter, heavier, female smell of the sea.

Ned wrote N+ S 23 in a heart. Max, Ben, and I built structures with sand that felt like a friend’s warm back when you pat it. I tried to get Nat to touch the sand, to help with the tunnels and the mounding. He said, “Yes,” but walked in the other direction. How many years, now, have I been trying to get Nat to actually play, NT-style, with the sand? But he still does not enjoy it at all. He would rather run in a large figure eight, looping around several families, in a crescendo of silly talk and puppet hand. Again the morning’s come, again he’s on the run, sunbeams shining through his hair, appearing not to have a care. Today, a gift to me, no one noticed.

Yesterday was different. Yesterday two French Canadian teenagers, maybe even older, grinned, pointed (subtly) and stared in what seemed to be disbelief. Believe it, Baby. C’est l’autisme. Ned said maybe it’s just that they think he’s cute. Ned said that I should use it as a “teaching moment.” Instead, I shook off a sandy chair in their direction and watched the particles land all over them. “I don’t owe anyone an explanation,” I said loudly, as they brushed the sand away, “especially when people are being rude.” I put down the chair and wiped my hands, while they looked at me, again in disbelief, waiting for an apology that never came. Jamais, mes amies. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord (and the Protective Mama).

Thinking of Mom and Dad, not here because of health problems. Life picking on them, nibbling away at the edges. They brush it away furiously like gnats at sundown. Dad should be here. The honeysuckle and privet release a toasted marshmallow aroma when you ride by on your bike. A bobwhite bird called in my yard in the morning; Dad’s favorite. The peaches are fist-sized, fleshy and yellow; Mom would love them. I had two today in anti-Atkins frenzy.

I’m a bride today, and I feel special. Even though I also thought of men in my past. Well, I’m human. I just do it when I’m bored. Minds can wander. Thoughts form, run wild, and stumble and lead us to learn about ourselves. They stoke the fire, sharpen our awareness and yearning. But home is here.

We all five ate at our favorite restaurant, Moby Dick’s in North Wellfleet, almost into Truro, way up Route 6 where it’s marshy and meadowy and scrubby. Nat ate his first French fry there, sixteen years ago. Tonight we all shared two desserts. We gorged on hot fudge and chocolate brownie.

Max and Ned went to see the sunset and take pictures; I danced in blue and white and gold and Ben and Nat watched The Adventures of Billy and Mandy together. Well, Ben watched it and Nat watched him. I don’t blame him; I think Ben is fun to watch, too.

The sky is almost completely dark, a deep sea blue stained at the very bottom with gold and pink, ocean meeting sand. My sons, blond, tan, and strong sit and draw and talk together, while the third stomps happily around the room, laughing softly. My husband of 23 years offers to read to Ben. Handsome and sexy, Ned still has the power to make me feel like he did back in our dorm days, like a crazed, sleepless, and lovesick teeanger. Random Universe, my eye.


What a beautiful passage you wrote about a lovely weekend with all of your men. You are a wonderfully gifted writer. I can small the privet, feel the sand and warm sun on my face.

Hell hath no fury like a mommy scorned. Good for you on shaking the sand on the rude girls. You owe no one an apology or explanation, re: Nat. I have a young neighbor who is autistic and her father is forever explaining and apologizing her behavior. I told him last summer he doesn’t need to do that, people understand and accept her. Well, not always I am sure but we do in our neighborhood.

Happy anniversary – many more to you and Ned~

— added by Anonymous on Monday, July 2, 2007 at 7:17 pm

That’s funny, what you said about the teenagers staring, because I seldom see that when I am out with my daughter. I have thought it is because of the press (esp. tv and movies) that autism has been getting for the last couple of years. Maybe they don’t have that in Canada?

— added by susan on Monday, July 2, 2007 at 7:30 pm

hi Susan, Great blog. I’m a protective mama too. We’re leaving for N. Conway tomorrow for our vacation with our 3. My 5 yr. old son is severe autistic as well. We’re hoping for the best. Anyway, while I was out walking/running with my iPod tonight I thought of you when I heard one of my favorite songs. It was Mysterious Ways by U2 and I was like, OMG , I need to tell Susan S. about this. When I went to see them in concert many years ago, they had a belly dancer dance to this song and it instantly became a favorite of mine. Think about it. It goes great together.

— added by Anonymous on Monday, July 2, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Happy Anniversary!

— added by Laura Cottington on Monday, July 2, 2007 at 10:38 pm

Sweetheart, I want to email you but it’s difficult through the website. I want to send you a tabblo that I don’t want to share with all the world.
contact me please @

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 2:09 am

ugh, this is too difficult! i want to email you a link to a delicious tabblo that i know you will love but there seems to be no way ‘cept to leave a comment. the “email me” link is haywire.
i hate complications

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 2:13 am

Happy anniversary to you both,

— added by Someone Said on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 6:59 am

My husband of 23 years is a hottie as well. All these aging things we try so hard to fight just make them look better. Suddenly everywhere we go people say to him, “wow, you look just like Sam Elliot!” So now I’ve got a movie star for a husband -add me to the teenager with a crush list!

— added by Eileen on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 8:36 am

Why is it that every time we go out in public with K that I can feel people staring at him, and then I feel them looking at me for an explanation (like I have this extra obligation because he’s not typical), or looking at me with that “aren’t you going to do something about his behavior?” (I like what you did with the sandy chair), like we haven’t tried a gzillion times already. I always get that feeling that they are thinking that it would be so easy for me to just say “stop that, K”, and he would listen and that would be the end of it. They have absolutely NO CLUE (I’d like to slap ’em up side the head). I don’t want to feel like I have to educate someone every single time I go out!! I’m so tired of that. I get so mad. It’s very difficult for me to let this slide off my back. (btw, what’s bigger, a gzillion or a bzillion?)

I’m sorry your parents couldn’t come. Enjoy being on holiday, as the British would say.

— added by MarkZ on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 10:57 am

I am SO glad you did that with the sand. your words would have been wasted on them-if they were not already aware of what is means to be understanding and not snotty. they were never taught-and it is not one womans job to teach the world. I would have been ruder to them. Good for you.

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 3:01 pm

A lovely, evocative post. Sounds like a wonderful day…especially the sandy chair. Ok, yes, it was petty but I felt good just reading about you doing it. I can only imagine how good it felt actually doing it! Hee Hee.

Happy anniversary and Happy Independence Day!

— added by Niksmom on Wednesday, July 4, 2007 at 9:35 am