Too Quiet in the Morning
Now that we've discussed too many sirens, lets talk about quiet. As in "way too quiet," which was the status of my home when I finally awoke this morning. No chattering Jawa, no hurrying Sandra Bullock (who, by the way, is featured on the cover of this month's "Vanity Fair"), just me and the distant sirens.
To digress a bit -- I wasn't imagining the sirens. Two days after my last post, our neighborhood newspaper, the "Glen Park News," ran a story which recounted all of the recent crime in the neighborhood. "Glen Park Crime Wave?" the story asked, followed by an in-neighborhood cop's insistance that everything was status quo. Since then, there has been a noticable increase in police presence in Glen Park. I see a couple of cop cars a day now, whereas I used to see one a week. Is this good news or bad news?
Back to my silent home.
The Jawa, who has been driving us insane with his insistance on acting like an 8-year-old, left this morning for a week at his friend's beach house. That's right: a Jawa-free week. Even more upsetting is the fact that, following a quick overnight at home on Thursday, S. Bullock will then take my Jawa to her mother's new retirement paradise in Lake Chelan, Washington, for another week, leaving me all alone here in our crumbling San Francisco cottage.
What will I do?
If I were S. Bullock -- as we discussed last night -- I would already have a prioritized list of projects at the ready. Upon their return, my family would find rooms re-painted, previously out-of-control storage areas tamed and neatened. Perhaps they would find the backyard completely weeked, the car detailed and the mailbox rebuilt.
Three years ago this summer, the Jawa and I took our famed Midwestern road trip through Ohio and Indiana, to see Noodles' Mom and Big Jody's family. When we returned, the Jawa's bedroom had been transformed from "toddler" to "kid." I doubt my family will find any radical changes when they return. Our house, in fact, may look like it's been empty for ten days.
Unfortunately, this turn of events is staffed backwards. It would probably be a better fit if I was the one leading the road trip to Lake Chelan and S. Bullock was staying home. This time, though, I have to stay home and enter data, try to sell houses, and not spend money. Also, it is Mean Jean's retirement paradise they seek -- though my respect for MJ is legion, she is, after all, S. Bullock's mom, not mine.
So I stay home. Sort of.
You can't keep a good man down, and I can't bear the thought of ten empty days coming so close on the heels of the Jawa-less week, so I'm bugging out and driving down to my adolescenthood home in Orange County, at least for the first weekend. I haven't been there since my parents moved to Dell Webb's Sun City, and I am due. Plus, the lawyer Roger Hunt, Esq. is completing renovation on his new home, and I haven't even seen it once yet. Some friend.
But this morning, waking up to silence. When I was in grad school (the first time), pre-Jawa, S. Bullock was usually long gone by the time I even thought about waking up. I'm wired to wake up at about 11:00 am, and it has and will always be a real struggle for me to function according to a normal adult clock. Today, for example, Bullock slammed on the overhead light at 7:30, but I still slept another hour; hence, the silence.
Usually, I start my mornings listening to SB making the Jawa's breakfast, and then whatever conversation or argument that follows. I lie there hoping that this will be the morning that Bullock says, "You know, I'm going to leave a little bit later and hang around with you guys," but she never does. She's gone as I'm getting out of bed, the Jawa already at full strength. Normally, I then spend a half-hour struggling to get him from Point A (pjs) to Point B (ready for school / camp), exasperated and the recipient of much information about Pokemon, Bionicles, Legos, Star Wars, Spiderman, etc.
The Jawa did his best to test us prior to leaving. He threw tantrums, narrowed his eyes, bossed us around, to the point where we knew we would breath a sigh of relief at the glorious silence that would follow his departure. Then I woke up at 5:30 this morning with his head smashed up against my chin. This isn't his usual m.o. Normally, when he comes in to our bed in the morning, I get knees and elbows if anything. Today I got his whole self, and of course instantly forgot about how he rolled his eyes at me Saturday night when I asked him to do something.
Sometimes I tell him that the the worst thing is that as he gets bigger, I get older. When he returns from his trips, he'll be two weeks older, a little less the little boy he was when he left, a little closer to the aggravating teenager he seems to be rushing toward becoming. I am in no rush, and when he announced, in the car the other day, that I didn't need to come to Santa Cruz for one night because "you know, Dad, I've got to grow up sometime," I thought I felt ten or fifteen hairs fall out of my already-depleted head.