I like the November trend of people posting their daily thanksgivings on Facebook. I started mine today, and I’ve decided to go a full year with it. It is healthy and healing to be thankful, even for the smallest of things.
Today, walking home from Thor’s school after a lengthy conversation with him about migration patterns and why geese honk (a whole flock flew overhead and buzzed us like Maverick and the Control Tower and all I could think was, “Please! No goose poop!” have you seen the size of goose poop?!) I was struck by the weather and the wet grass and suddenly remembered waiting for the bus in elementary school. Since we weren’t on the bus route after second grade, my mother had
bribed paid the bus driver (who lived about a mile from our house) to pick me up and drop me off. I would hang out in our front yard, waiting, twirling, dancing, singing, whatevering at the top of my lungs. I had a self to entertain, you understand.
Our neighbor across the street took pity on what he perceived as my boredom, and started coming out every morning to let down the wooden swing that hung from a huge oak tree in their front yard. I would swing until the bus arrived, then hop on board and watch Mr. Meadows tie the swing back up to the branch. When they were in season, he would allow me to pick one pomegranate from his shrub every day, and I would carry that to school in my backpack, pretending I was Persephone and the school bus was taking me from my place as Princess of Spring in mother’s fields into the Underworld of elementary school, where I was Queen of the Damned. Clearly, Thor’s dramatic tendencies are genetic.
I loved our neighborhood in Virginia. Trees and water, and a hundred elderly people for me to visit and have dote upon me. It was funny–I was talking to my therapist about growing up in neighborhoods with no children, the other day. Then, I realized I had grown up in neighborhoods with plenty of kids, I just wasn’t allowed to play with any of them! I couldn’t play with Michelle, who lived 2 houses down, because she had called Mr. Landing an old bastard. I couldn’t play with Jenny G because my parents were unsure of her parents. I couldn’t play with Jenny J (whose grey gingerbread house had actual heart cutouts on the shutters–I loved her house) because she was allowed to play with Jenny G. I could play with Lisa and Tina until they walked into our home unannounced twice, and my mother put an end to their desire to come near our front door. Chester and Darren were out on my terms. Darren had held me down while Chester put caterpillars in my hair–I wasn’t going to play with them ever again. Boys! Although, Darren had an awesome swingset and would play Underdog with me.
There was also a neighbor at the end of the block, who had something like 8 kids. I can’t remember why I didn’t play with them, but it probably had to do with Jenny G. or Michelle (who I secretly loved, and who snuck me into her house to watch Saturday Night Fever.)
I wonder how much of elementary school Thor will remember? If any of our walks to class will register in his memory. At the very least, I hope the impression of how much fun we’ve had will remain, and he will have a blanket feeling of goodness surrounding this period of his life.