Monday, March 15, 2010

is this real life?

Jabber and I spent last Saturday afternoon "rambling"--the code word around here for "please take one or both of the kids out of here before they wreck the place and send us all into a terrible spiral of craziness".  Technically, our job was to get groceries, but our real job was to occupy ourselves long enough that David and the Monkey could get in a good, long nap.

So we rambled.  We spent some time hanging out on the banks of a fast-moving city creek, had pancakes and coffee at a local coffee shop (where Jabber did write his note to Ms. C. and I did some writing of my own, both of us scribbling companionably in longhand in our journals), and eventually made our way through the aisles of the grocery store.  We did all of this mostly without driving each other crazy.

I enjoy being with my kids, especially like this--low pressure, low expectations.  I do best with only one at a time, and without much of a plan. 

On Sunday, after a short family walk around the neighborhood (which included a playground visit, a Laffy Taffy stop, and a rousing game of I-Spy, culminating with a bike ride along the sidewalk out front), Jabber sat on the front porch steps between David and I and sighed hugely. 

"Mom?" he said.  "Is this real life?"

I hesitated.  I mean, wouldn't you?  What exactly is he asking?  What kind of answer can I possibly give him?

"Well, is it?"

I took the Socratic approach, or maybe I was stalling.  "As opposed to what?" I asked.

"Well, it could be a dream."  He took a swig of water from his canteen, gazing out across the street in his little cosmic contemplation.  "It could all be a dream."

Maybe it takes a weekend of spring rambling to get a person back in touch with real life, but it was sort of like the sun got warmer, the air fresher, the Laffy Taffy stickier, at that moment.  I spend so much of my time immersed in fiction--the opposite of real life.  At times, don't we all live our life in a dream, thinking about what we'd like it to be, what we hope it will become?

"How can we tell that this is real life and not a dream?" I asked.  He couldn't see me smiling, but I'm sure he heard it in my voice because he laughed, then, and leaned back against my legs.

"Well, because there aren't any monsters or weird animals," he said.  "Everything just makes sense.  Duh!"


Lyn said...

You know how we accidentally find a blog ? That's what just happened to me..and how nice it turned out to be..a breath of fresh air!

elissa said...

Right back atcha, Anon! ;)

and thanks, Lyn. :)