"And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!"
Sitting on the front porch, it runs through and through my head until not even the suffocating heat can drown it out. This is NOT my beautiful house.
I know it's true because the house still belongs to someone else. My things now reside here. My pictures are going up on the walls, my books are resting on the shelves. My bed is here, my clothes, my food. But, this is NOT my beautiful house.
Unsettled, I wander each morning, wondering when it will no longer be two of us here, but three. Sam and I are usually alone for the morning. We watch TV and try not to sweat out all of our body's water. It is so hot. The heat, it cooks my emotions until they are crispy and liable to break at a feather's touch, or that of an old man's hand.
On Wednesday Sam locks himself in the bathroom and I am torn between anger and panic. He has not been sleeping well or enough, and neither have I. Breezeless waves of sticky air make it hard to sleep alone, and that much harder with a three year old radiator wanting hugs. I sit outside as he tells me 'no', wondering if he CAN'T or WON'T open the door. Eventually, Daddy arrives home with the key and he is freed.
I find myself without sympathy, wishing I could have one moment alone despite the fact that I can barely manage meaningful movement in this heat wave.
He falls asleep earlier than he should that night. I am home, alone with him once again, and I let it happen. The result is a 'nap' from 6-9 and then a boy who won't go to sleep until after 2. I am exhausted. I am drained. I am not eating or drinking enough, but the bloating from the heat and a worse-than-usual monthly visitor mean I feel achy. The sheen of 95 degree heat clings everywhere and I crave cool, though it doesn't exist here, now.
I no longer walk fully free in my space. I no longer leave the bathroom door open to pee or shower without a hint of fear that I will be caught. This is not my beautiful house.
My heart and mind know my dumb luck - young, healthy, strong parents. I am thrust through matrimony into caring, into caring for before I ever expected. Talk is talk, and we discussed this. Words weave into conversation, but reality has it's own ideas. I'm not ready. I said it. Are you committing yourself, or are you committing me? Intentions and ideas were formed. Now, I sit here and wonder how it is all me.
Because when he arrives every single day between 1 and 4 I am the one who is home. I am the one who places his pills into his shaking lips and hands him water to wash it down. I am the one who braces myself, and pulls him up when he cannot stand on his own. I am the one who walks with him leaning on my arm until he gets his rhythm back. I am the one who balances the needs of a young boy and an old man, trying to care for both. I am the one who wonders if I will have a day truly to myself in this house. Then I realize...
This is not my beautiful house.
Things settle. Adjustments happen. The air will cool and I will find comfort as the clouds roll in and the rain comes. Days will turn to weeks and soon months and the leaves will turn and we will enjoy fall, maybe more than ever before. My moods will turn from sugar strings drooping and stretching in the heat to hardened caramel holding the apple in place. I will get used to it.
I search the kitchen for food to prepare for him, it is no longer an option not to have done the grocery shopping soon enough. He needs his strength, medicine, food, on time and now that is my job.
this is not my beautiful life.
I watch him open & rifle through the drawers I've cleaned out, looking for something that was there before but is no longer.
Did I sign up for this?
I listen to him talk about cooling off in the pool when I know that it is not safe to swim in because he has just added more chlorine.
Does it matter now?
I wet the towel, I help him remove his shirt. I rub his back with the dampened cloth to try and cool him down.
This is not my beautiful house.