Saturday, November 08, 2008


I've spent the day unpacking boxes yet again. We've gone beyond the boxes we need for basic survival and moved into the murky world of boxes labeled Papers and Photos and Art Supplies and the dreaded Misc. The contents of these boxes keep throwing me back and making me walk around and take deep breaths, because I keep finding things again, like the envelope of pictures of my children that I had long ago sent to my parents and which my mother had kept, organized as always, in an envelope labeled A & M. My mother's handwriting makes me cry right now, even, or particularly, the capitalized in sharpie handwriting she always used to label boxes. Keep in mind that we moved every 18 months or so my whole life. Boxes labeled in sharpie are to me as great grandma's meatloaf to others.

Meanwhile, the QOB is recovering from her fall by staying quiet and downstairs. C came by this morning and dressed her wound and reported that she swore she was in no pain. I was figuring that she'd be pretty achey today, given the fall and then the resultant stitches and, of course, champagne, but she said she was fine - just didn't feel like going out. She also didn't feel like wearing a bandage over the stitches on her upper lip and I'm going with the belief that this is okay. Young M had a similar injury and he didn't have to wear a bandage, as far as I recall, which is pretty clearly, because I vividly remember when he, at age five or thereabouts, fell off the monkey bars and put his front teeth right through his lower lip. I also remember in excruciating detail how, although I had quit smoking for six months at that point, watching him try to drink a glass of water in the hospital emergency waiting room (they take care of you faster when you're eighty than when you're five)and watching that water fall right out through the hole in his lower lip, slightly blood tinged but otherwise not much the worse for wear, made me start up smoking again immediately.

Anyway, I spent the whole day unpacking boxes and tidying and cleaning and all that good shit and then eventually making dinner (peanut butter noodles, fried tofu and carrots with honey butter) for young M and the QOB and myself and then young M found the chocolate ice cream in the freezer and the milk that was miraculously not sour in the back of the fridge and proceeded to make milkshakes for himself and the QOB. She came upstairs a while later with an intent look on her face and said, "Your son brought me this wonderful drink! Where is more of it?"
"Yes" I said, "He made you a milkshake but now we're out of ice cream and milk. No worries, though, I'm going to the store tomorrow."
She looked around for a bit, doubting me (I have this evil tendency to take sweets away from her when I think she's had enough and then I make her eat real food before she gets dessert and stuff, so, you know, I sort of function as the enemy sometimes) then gave up and handed me $20.
"A," I said, "What is this? You don't owe me any money."
"I want to make sure," she said, "That you get everything he needs to make that wonderful drink."
So I told her some funny stories about young M and his fondness for milkshakes and she laughed a lot and went back to bed.

And I thought, you know, strokes are terrible and all of this is fucking tough and a lot of the time my heart breaks and I get sad and shit but, hey, when every milkshake is your very first one, well, you know, there's something to be said for that. Because milkshakes are awesome when you're discovering them for the very, very first time.


Jim Jenkins said...

Beautiful story Fliss. Now I must have a goddamn milkshake!

Edgy Mama said...

Isn't it amazing how vividly we remember our kids' injuries? My boy has this nasty black eye/face/cheek right now, which he got, as he says, "From a fight with the concrete floor." Every time I look at him I felt slightly nauseated. Even though I know he's going to be fine.