Every Sunday

Since September, I have had been spending Sundays with my son. We are often alone, hanging out in the house or running errands together. He is nearing seven and a half, and I am finding that he’s maturing into an actual person right now, as in a person I want to spend time with, one who can be patient with my need to do work, one who can disappear into his corner of the house for a while and can even toast a waffle for himself without waking up either of his parents. This kid is learning to navigate his tiny universe without needing mom and dad each moment – and often preferring not to have us around 24/7.

He is reading like a madman, too, devouring chapter books with such titles as I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, I Survived Pearl Harbor, I Survived a Grizzly Bear Encounter, and you see where I am going. He even has a genre.

Tonight, while reading about the bear encounter, he read each small “shk” of the rattlesnake’s rattling sound. He’s in it to win it. Fully committed to the entire experience. Picture, if you will for a moment, a small finger running beneath each “shk.”

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This is one thing I love so much about him.

When he is not reading someone’s survival story, he’s reading a graphic novel of Poe’s greatest hits, such as “The Raven” and “The Telltale Heart.” He eats up anything slightly horrifying or gruesome, especially if blood and ghosts are involved. My husband and I question if he will be the next Stephen King (or possibly Indiana Jones if going with the survival stuff).

Today, he read me some Poe and then we did some Mad Libs. We’re sort of becoming buds. I mean, we were always buds, but our time together feels more like time together, existing in the same space, having exchanges about why dad and I don’t eat sugar or that being sick means mom needs another hour on the couch. “I know,” he says about me feeling ill. “I understand, mom.” and then his mind takes him wandering into the piano room to look for something.

And when I mentioned disapproval about my mom’s dear friend missing Thanksgiving with us this year, he says, “Well, at least you have me, Mom. I’ll be there.”

I’ll be there, too, sweet boy. Carve me in for every Sunday from now until eternity.

 

 

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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

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