Susan's Blog

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Love is the Sound of One Hand Flapping

Maybe there is something to the zen idea of not trying, not pushing, but merely being. All yesterday and part of today I’ve been fretting about Nat and how subdued he is. I’ve been looking for clues in his school notebook, and the notes from the House, to how he’s really been. They all say, “GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT DAY” etc. and they give me examples. But I keep looking for signs that he’s not happy. Proof that I’ve made a terrible mistake!

When will I quit all that? You must know how I drive my loved ones crazy with all my doubt. To love me is to put up with me, I guess. But anyway, I had been scrutinizing all in Nat World when suddenly, I was sick of it.

I was tired, napful, with literally a pain in my ass from too much exercise. Heating pad and motrin and what Dad calls an “Ironman” workout made me just want to close my eyes against all the crap in my head.

I started defrosting chop meat (Ned laughs at how I say that, like a shtetl immigrant, but that’s how my Mom says it and so did hers, so it is actually therefore the most accurate form of the stuff). and I poured myself a glass of Menage a Trois wine, which I would drink but never do, not that there’s anything wrong with it. Anyway, it’s just Menage a Moi right now, ’cause Mr. Ned is tending to his coals, which is not a euphemism. This is great, kind of subtly fruity wine with a dry kick at the end. A floral nose, etc.

So I’m a little bleary, as you can see. And I was pushing microwave buttons, sipping, washing hands, peeling potatoes, when I looked at Nat and he was smiling. I said, “There you are.” And he said, “Yes.” Then he said, “Eat hamburgers and noodles.” He knew damned well I had just peeled four huge Idahos. “Nat!” I said. “You know we’re having potatoes.”
“Yes,” he said, grinning. Then he said, “Eat inside.”
And I said, “Nat, it’s nice out, so we’re eating outside on the porch.”
“Yes.” More grinning.

And a little bit of blessed silly talk, the ultimate sign of Nat’s contentment. Pretty soon, maybe I’ll see the flappy puppet hand, and my heart will burst open with wine-soaked love. And I didn’t do anything at all, no contorting myself with reward charts or suggestions of appropriate leisure activities, or attempts at conversation. Nothing except hanging with my boy up to my wrists in Kosher beef with my head in a glass of wine.


Susan, I know exactly what you are talking about. I often even tend to cause my boy to admit to things that haven’t even happened with my agitation about his feelings and whats going on. I guess I am learning early that I shouldn’t try to get in his head sometimes because it’s just way too complicated for me!

— added by Bonnie on Saturday, August 30, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Ah the title to this post made my chest feel tight and the content is just as beautiful.

— added by DJ Kirkby on Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 4:06 am

YES, once again you write what I am thinking/going through. Whenever my daughter gets a good report in school notebook I always wonder “really? really an awesome day?” It is exhausting!

It sounds like Nat is settling in and is at home alot. We all get a little nervous with change until we settle in, no?

— added by Anonymous on Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 9:42 am

I too look for clues.
I hope you see the flappy puppet hand soon.

— added by Casdok on Monday, September 1, 2008 at 5:09 am