The Easter holiday weekend is officially running out on me.
I’m getting that mid-week feeling as the evening runs into night- that short week first wind that makes me feel as if I can run a couple miles despite my January lungs. I felt that way this afternoon in the midst of busy work errands . . . like I could blow off some steam and compete with the summer come early sun that was making me feel like April was ready to morph into July. I hate feeling late to the season, and while I’m really not, it’s starting to feel as if spring is going to lose out to summer by forfeit. Presently, I can’t imagine a more important investment than sneakers and bulk apple sauce.
Yesterday was a good spring off the diving board. The much talked about (by me) Easter road trip with my former in-laws came up tulips. I knew we were on the right track when the topics fused together effortlessly. When you can touch upon politics, religion and reality television without going Ozzy (The Pre-Sharon Ozzy), you’re in good company.
I was asked the question about my situation. But it came differently, easily. I don’t remember how the question was phrased, only that I felt it coming because we’d just finished chatting up authors and my last serious romantic commitment, she was a writer. So the question was posed inside that tall grass and I replied, “I’m keeping things single until Vera Farmiga calls.” I understood it to be the perfect goof when I received a reply from the back seat, “I’m rooting for you.”
Mother in-law always had the spirit and salt to overcome the tight fits and exaggerated sputters that formed uncomfortable growths on a conversation with nerve. She was always like that with things. The old man’s tune is to follow her mostly, not as a whimpering echo but as an agreeable partner whose priorities were always spot on. They were always good in-laws and I’m grateful my kids got to know them as something other than stories.
After dinner we stopped off at a mountain peak with the ex wife and her husband, the kids and the in-laws. It was one of those great ideas that births itself out of a whisper, a question and some loose thoughts turned solid. We stood side by side by side in an extended family photo with a 1920’s mansion as our backdrop and modern smiles as the contrast to a past that mattered less than the here and now. Our eyes galivanted across a hard and beautiful open wound of mountain chains below us. The wind was composing a song as if on cue- a bright and familiar arrangement of tufted whistles and scavenged melodies borrowed from the natural landscape.
After this, the brood managed another walk out of their sated legs while I stayed behind, content to feed on the dark blues and wild greens that fed the ridge below me, stitches of browns trespassing at struggled paces before giving up. That’s the Asperger in me, no matter how enjoyable the company, I’m always looking to broker some solitary involvement. It gives me the time and space to gather the thoughts that otherwise run much too quickly.
So I sat there thinking about how we’d all gotten from there to here and how it had turned out alright. We’d remained a family in spite of the sea change of separation and divorce. We’d learned, adapted, prevailed, believed. We’d grown, but not apart. And then I thought happily of the ride home that still awaited us.
It was me and the kids and the in-laws and a stretch of road that, in the end, didn’t feel long enough.