Saturday, June 7, 2008

First Night

My son spent his first night in our new place. Starting last week, he was building up to it, taking a running start at the hurdle. We made a special night of it, partaking of the Discover Jazz Festival going on in Burlington, absorbed into the crowd at the top of Church Street enjoying funky horns and bright lights. We celebrated over a nice dinner, just the 2 of us, with gypsy swing in the background, followed by more music and more strolling along the street.

Back at the house, we watched yet another movie on the laptop. He was wound up, very talkative and funny with his monologues. There was a lingering over actual bedtime. He suggested a swap of paintings to get a sailing one of my Dad’s into his room. We discussed and experimented with lights to leave on or off. Out of the stack of left-over flooring, he set up a little nightstand behind his bed for his Ipod alarm, and talked about things to get in the morning so he wouldn’t have to keep remembering a lot to take back and forth. He wasn’t sure he wanted to be spooked by his Steven King novel his first night in a strange room.

Finally, we talked about the first time he came here when there was literally no bathroom floor. He told me that night it all looked great, but confided now that inside he was thinking it really was a mess and had been wondering what I could be imagining

All of this is testament of how far we have come, the huge changes currently under construction. The floors still need to be sanded. The kitchen counter is just a slab of plywood, and there are cabinets to build. Then there is the outside…a work forever in progress.

But the bathroom is nearly complete, very workable.

In six months, life for him as he has known it has dissolved. His Dad lives across town. Strangers continuously peek into his room, looking to buy his Home. He has no idea where his room will be when he goes back to school in the Fall. The changes are huge, but this cheerful kid keeps his humor and makes the best of each moment, loving and supporting each of his parents, growing into a man.

Life deals these blows. As a parent, especially in this circumstance, we feel responsible. If there could be any way to save our children from the disruption, the uncertainty, the anguish, we have sought to find the key. At some point, it becomes better to ease the transition than suffer more uncertainty, being caught in the turmoil. For me, there is no consolation to say more marriages end than last. By the measure of 20 years, our children’s youthful years, many would say it has been successful. Even being time to move on, the children, no matter what age, suffer the loss profoundly.

The best that I can do today is make the cherished pancakes that have been a tradition in our family. I cut up some melon, and unwrap the new silverware. At the recycle store later, we look at TVs, a lamp for his improvised night table, a night table itself, and actually buy a couple of puzzles, some cutlery, 2 glasses and a book for a grand total of $3.89. At another store we get an IPod charger for this place. Today, I just try to make it normal and share a few laughs

Please share with your friends


Anonymous said...

You are doing a great job with your son. Just love him and let him love you back. All will work out. He knows you are putting his welfare first.

Great post. He is lucky to have a father like you.


Cornelia Powell said...

Hello, Kip....I'm about to start building my tiny log cabin in the western North Carolina mountains, so you've given me something to look forward to! teehee.

Cornelia Powell

Cornelia Powell said...

ps: oops...didn't leave my url...Cornelia

Hayden Tompkins said...

Is that last picture of you and your son? If so, you guys are adorable! (In a manly way, of course. ;) )

Kip de Moll said...

Thanks for the support, Steve. us dads got to stick together.

Good luck with that, Cornelia, make sure you have a moment like the picture I posted last week of wine on the table! There might even be times something stronger is needed.

Yep, Hyden, that's us (he's the one leaning in! My sister keeps telling me I need to learn how to hug)

connie said...

I popped over from Hayden's blog. I have enjoyed your comments there. Love your son, love yourself and things have a way of working out. Sounds like your on a good path.

TheElementary said...

What a bittersweet story. It does sound like you have a good relationship with your son. In time things will settle down; a new sort of life will unfold gradually but in the meantime keep having those good times and talking to him as you are doing. The most valuable thing he could be given right now is your time and support.