Seeing Stars

Deep prose stirs and crafts itself in the background of my days, but for now, in the foreground, business is at hand and being handled.

The Bohemian nurses me back to health over the weekend by simply steering the ship while I sleep at length, bonding with Jeb, all the while. In the midst of it all, he takes on the refrigerator defrost project, which does not mean simply piling all of our food into a couple coolers and unplugging the appliance. Each shelf and drawer are removed and the entire unit’s every nook and crease is cleaned to day-of-purchase perfection.

Adding flair to daily chores, as usual, the Bohemian whistles “When the Saints Come Marching In” with casual enjoyment, as he works. Shirtless, sexy, helpful – saintly.

Monday brings the pruning project, where an entire stand of trees are trimmed, a new garden bed mapped and plotted, and three loads of laundry washed.

In addition, the Bohemian follows up on his theory that Jeb has outgrown the bed he’s had since he was two, and coordinates a replacement. By day’s end, the sun setting, I’m helping haul a lightly-used king sized-bed from our neighbor’s house up our stairs. It’s so massive we have trouble cresting the stairwell and I consider giving up. The Bohemian is certain we can bend the mattress just enough to pass through.

My monkey mind has already jumped ahead to the box spring still waiting downstairs. Mid-mattress move, I protest, “If we’re having trouble with the soft mattress, we’ll never get the hard box spring up these stairs. I don’t think this is going to work.”

“It will work,” he assures, tugging the mattress just a bit more up the stairs.

I’m thinking he doesn’t understand my point. I try again. “But the box spring won’t give, and this mattress is only getting through by us bending it. How will we get the box spring up the stairs?”

Ever-patient, “Just push the mattress a bit more. Don’t worry about the box spring.”

Well, of course, the mattress makes it up the stairs with relative ease. And I, embarrassingly, discover that the box spring comes in two light-weight, dimensionally-friendly sections that the Bohemian can, essentially, carry under one arm.

Every crease of the new mattress is vacuumed with care. Jeb gets into the suction work, too, repeating, “This is so huge! It’s like a bed for a king.”

And the Bohemian is smiling, and I’m just shaking my head in awe, and then by night’s end we’re all just sprawled on this huge bed in the dark, trying to put Jeb to sleep but he’s wired. It’s cozy there with the three of us, though there’s still another good three feet of empty space. I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy family sweetness until Jeb pats me kindly and says, “Ok, mom, you can go now.”

Meaning he’s ready for mom to leave so the Bohemian can put him to bed.

It’s a sweet sting. The kind of hit mom’s take daily, and somehow welcome, because they know this is how it’s supposed to go. The weaning, that is.

At our house, we’ve got these charts on the refrigerator (which is now sparkling clean, I might add). There is a chart for each of us. And when we feel an appreciation for one another, we will announce that we are going to add a star to the respective person’s chart.

I’m feeling a lot of gratitude these days. Being constantly surprised, nearly not believing. For now, I don’t want to think about my the disbelief lurking in the shadows. How I fear that somehow I may be getting this all wrong. That this is just some dream I’ll eventually wake up from.

Right now I want to just rest in appreciation. Soak in the wonder.

Wow.

Let myself see stars.

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