A funny thing didn’t happen the other morning.
There was a conflict situation in our home – and no-one kicked-off!
O had asked us to get him corrugated perspex for science class, for a bird-house they were building. Our first forays had failed: nothing suitable on Amazon or Gumtree; a late evening drive to Woodies in Drogheda had yielded nothing.
There was a chat with the bewildered but very friendly art shop manager.
A and I forgot about it … you know, working, commuting, domestic this, football training that, talent showcase in school preparation the other …
Of course, O reminded us occasionally.
And now O was getting dressed for school and telling A he needed the perspex for 1pm.
“Mom, I need it!”
I went downstairs, and I could hear voices raised, but no decibel barriers crashing.
A was soon down, and I quizzed her with my eyes as I filled her coffee cup.
“He’s okay … I just have to write a note in his journal …”
And so the morning carried on.
K up and actually downstairs and lunch packed away. Jacket remembered without reminding …
What was happening here?
What a beautiful morning it was outside… the glare from the melting dew droplets on the grass verge deployed the airbags under my eyes as I unleashed Bella and Lily on the neighbourhood – otherwise known as our morning walk.
Amazing what a bright morning can do for the spirit.
There I was the previous night, bone-tired and beaten when I fell into bed well after midnight.
Late European soccer stuff safely put to bed after a full-on shift on the newspaper sports desk, before the 20-mile journey to my own coastal small town crib.
On the last bus from Dublin city centre.
Before I knew it, I was rattling along those last, looping rural backroad miles, my blurry late night crossword still scrunched in my right hand when I finally snorted myself awake as we reached the outer reaches of my dormant town.
And there I was the morning after, tired in body, but good!
A morning of optimism after days of resigned abandonment.
It could hardly all be down to the weather, could it?
It’s true we get some extremes out here near the sea.
Even in spring time.
Biting winds and mornings when the clenched early morning leaves seriously consider not bothering to unfurl for the day …
And then it lifts, and we lift with it.
So there I was, in my local Spar presently, unclenched and chatting to that friendly, smiling assistant.
Everything was easier, and I was actually more productive than those days where I have to will myself to get things done.
In to the jeweller’s shop, getting him to fix that clasp in my daughter’s necklace … the necklace I had been carrying in my wallet for a week or more.
Phone calls were made, washing put on and hung out.
On my way back from town I passed the house of that lovely, shy woman I see sometimes walking on the path behind our house that leads to the park.
Always alone, and humming to herself, stopping to pick a flower, greying bobbed head bowed and the hello barely rippling her lips when I salute her in passing. Always passing.
The garden in front of her corner two-storey retreat is a lush profusion of brilliant tulips, perfumed hyacinths, perky primroses, bluebells, bushes … even the low wall beside the bus stop out front has been planted with gallant snowdrops and delicate crocuses …
All planted by this Joanna Appleseed of planted flowers and abandoned love …. precious beauty sown and reaped in a cold climate.
I have never seen her husband and her enter or leave this house together.
Turning in to our estate, I see a lone light brown leather glove on the path. The left hand. Abandoned.
Not every left hand finds its Mr Right.
But sometimes things do turn out fine, or at least dispel the clouds a while.
What anticipation and trepidation that evening as A and I sat clenched upright in our chairs as our daughter was about to unfurl her talent at the showcase in her secondary school auditorium.
Just her and her voice over a backing track.
She entered in character from stage left, mike in hand, and turned to us to let it all go … feeding off the crowd’s goodwill, living her song … looking and sounding like she belonged up there.
Mom and dad were composed and quietly jubilant by the time our soaring songstress joined us later. Coyly asking what exactly those who praised her to us had said.
“She said I was amazing? … who’s mom is she, again? …”
Home, and before long we hit the bed.
Me just as tired as the previous night, but infinitely less exhausted.
- Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it, try another one! Follow my blog and you won’t miss out again.