Diapers and Dragons

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wanderings and Wakings


I yawn and flick the cursor from window to window. No new messages. No new comments. Nothing has changed in the last two minutes. I stare blankly at the screen, willing the words to spill from my fingertips through the keyboard onto the silicon page.

I feel the need to write deep and stirring prose about how Spring has Sprung, but there are all these annoying people sitting around me discussing things like curriculum pacing and summer reading choices and rubrics and syntax. You'd think such things would excite me, but no, they don't. Not in this context, at any rate. These meetings seem to be created for the sole purpose of dismantling any progress that has been made in previous meetings or decisions that have been made by curriculum committees.

Let me return to my classroom. More will be done there than in this room full of professional blathering.


I watch his hand smoothly shift the mouse over the desk, expertly locating and opening the program he wants. Odd little creatures bounce onto the screen and he scrolls through the options.

Look at this one, Mama! he crows as a flame-painted alien comes into view. This one is a bad guy because he's all scary! But this one, he says as a panda-like being takes its place at center, is a good guy because he is cute.

I want to tell him that appearances can be deceiving, that not all that is beautiful or adorable or cute in appearance will be good. I want to warn him that covers conceal, that shiny can coat deep rot, that outer loveliness can shield evil. Likewise, that which appears fearsome may be pure within.

I watch his innocence and cannot bring myself to lecture it away today.

It is cute! I say, and my eyes trace the beauty of his precious face.


My fingers drum the steering wheel, my left foot keeping time with the rhythm thrumming through the car. I sing with abandon, carefree in my isolation as I speed along the highway.
You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed, sing like bird
Dizzy in my head, spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh, you make me smile
The wind from the open window tosses my hair wildly about my face. I dance in my seat and sing, happy in my space, happy in my self.


Yesterday the temperature climbed into the low eighties. Windows flung up in stuffy winter-shielded houses; windows rolled down in SUVs and station wagons and Hummers and compacts. Motorcycles appeared around every bend; convertibles sped sleekly along each road.

Today it is cooler and pearl-grey clouds shield the sun. Tomorrow will require long sleeves and windbreakers, just in time for the birthday party taking place in a park. The weather website says the chance of precipitation is low. Still, I am grateful I rented a covered gazebo and hope the chill of winter's lingering grasp will not chase off the guests.

Kites might fly farther than planned.


Strong hands slide under my shoulder blades and begin their patient, persistent movements to soothe my muscles back into place. My body resists: its bones and sinews have been twisted into these shortened, strained positions for so long that they no longer remember where they should be. The hands move in subtle persuasion.

My eyes cannot remain open. This is the fifth time I have lain here in this long, slow retraining. Every time I find myself dozing. Lazy thoughts drift through my mind, half-remembered images and snippets of ideas that trail away in peaceful demi-dreams.

He is teaching me how to restore my body back to where it should be, and I relish the ability to treat my pain at will. But I will miss this half-hour of somnolence and peace.


The relentless blare of my alarm yanks me from vague but blissful dreams. I switch it off and bury my face back in the pillow. Soft warmth weights my limbs with reluctance. Five more minutes. Maybe ten. Surely I can shower rapidly enough to make up the time.

Every morning feels earlier than the one before, this time of year. Two months from today I will walk through the school doors for the final time of this academic year. True, the occasional committee meeting and the early morning habits of my children will still wake me before I'd prefer, but for the rest of summer I will be able to sleep later than I may now. Two hours makes all the difference.

I groan and swing my legs over the side, stumble wearily to my feet, and wander towards hot water and soap. Today will be a two-coffee morning. But then, most of them have been, lately.


The flowers are waking up! he says, small body crouched low to greening earth, brown eyes sparkling inches away from shy crocuses.

The world wakes, and the birds trill the song of Nature's Morning. Slim branches that mere days ago stood stark and barren are fuzzed with budding leaves, verdant life sprung from winter's seeming death. The Judas tree I planted with my own hands bears no green in this early month, but subtle purple blossoms edge the sapling like evening shadows. It will grow again this year, thickening its limbs on its journey from adolescence.

The remnants of the farm this once was wend their wilding paths through the orthodox landscaping. Sharp tang of onion will scent the air. Grape leaves will climb sturdy trunks. Small raspberries will tempt small fingers to brave the danger of thorny vines. The sour cherry tree will bloom with the promise of cobbler to come.

For a moment, I feel Earth turning under my feet.

3 bits of love:

mom said...

"I feel the earth . . . move . . . under my feet . . ." Now that's a song from my days-gone-by, but I can still feel it. I would love to see your Judas tree, sing with you in the car, watch the little ones discover life. Thank you for sharing these moments. I miss you way too much!

Lauren said...

What a beautiful collection of your week's happenings.

(And, yay! It wasn't poetry!)

Draft Queen said...

I want a massage So Badly.

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