Friday Fragments are my way of imparting to you a certain twisted wisdom. Read these little snippets of goings-on, and it shall set you free. Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin Time is to blame for this. She is the Fragment Zen Master. Please pay her homage.
# I got changed in the bathroom after a short swim the other day and as I reached the door to leave, realized something was amiss. I looked down and saw that I had thrown on Corrine's tan skirt, the kind with the shorts in them. I felt so...liberated. And then I got my period.
# Corrine and I are second-act parents, in that we both had children, raised them out of infancy and into their teens and then had children together of our own. We both, it has become obvious, forgot how much infants can absolutely kill a romantic relationship. Plans to go out together fall through; plans to snuggle on the couch together are interrupted by the 1-year-old needing a diaper change, or the 3-year-old wanting to be between us. Recently we were sitting on the couch talking about watching a movie since our older kids were at their other parents' respective houses and the little ones were asleep. As we sat there, flipping through the movie channels we pay for but never use, it was 7:30, the sun had not yet set, neighbors were barbecuing. Two hours later we both woke up and went upstairs to bed.
# Speaking of parenting. I made it a mental mission to never disparage my ex-wife in front of our children, no matter the temptation. I wish she had gone on the same mental mission.
# I'm a week from college orientation and do not have a second-hand car yet. Like all things in my life, I must wait for money. The college is cutting a check for the difference in financial aid. (Aid includes housing and travel, and since I am not living on campus, I will get cash instead) Anyway, part of the money will go toward a used car. The check has not come yet. My dad went to the University of Maine at Orono, some two-plus hours away. This was when he was a young pup married to mom. He used to HITCHHIKE to and from college just to be with my mom. And people ask how the hell does a couple last for 50 years? There's your answer. I, on the other hand, can't fucking wait for that check.
# Gabrielle, our three-year-old, has been potty-trained for some time now. She still announces when she needs to go, but she can climb up and do her thing all by herself. The other night I was watching her and Griffin while Corrine was at play rehearsal. Gabi went to the bathroom and trotted back afterward, exclaiming she had pooped. In the most genuinely impressed voice about pooping that I could muster, said "Wow, that's fantastic!" To which she replied, "Yeah, I did a baby poop, a mommy poop and a daddy poop." I asked her what that meant. She took me to the bathroom and showed me. There were little turds, medium turds, and one really large dad-looking turd. I think she's gonna be a writer, what do you think?
# Corrine and I took Fallon, my oldest, for her senior portraits this week. Corrine had found a beautiful spot in town with these expansive views, rolling lawns, gardens, picket fences and even a Japanese waterfall. The woman who owns the property gladly let us stroll around with the photographer. It was a gorgeous summer day. One I have already stored in my Fallon Memory Bank. Watching her pose, I could not help but feel ... well, you probably already know how I felt. The girl used to fall asleep in my arms, for chissake.
# My cousin, Matthew, came up from North Carolina this week. He's in the Marines and will be shipping out to Iraq in September. The Turner clan gathered at my parents to wish him well. It was nice seeing my father's brothers all together, talking about growing up. It's the way families should be when they gather. I wish there was more of it. As for Matthew, I wish him well and know God will go with him.
# I have this recurring dream that Corrine is pregnant. There's no chance in hell that she could ever get pregnant, of course. not by me anyway. I had the old cables snipped. No, this is not a dream of lament, or wish. I think it means something else, but I'm just not sure what.
# I'm replacing the roof on our porch with metal. That is to say, I'm putting metal over the existing shingles. The corner where the roof meets the house is an ice trap and leaks every winter. I pulled up the shingles there to see what damage there was to the wood. Like I know what the fuck I'm doing, you know? Anyway, the wood looks remarkably good. No rot. What I discovered was that the previous owner had had it re-roofed and left gaps between it and the abutting house, through which water can naturally flow. Okay, I'm no carpenter, but even I know that gaps mean trouble. And that's my metaphor for the week: gaps mean trouble, folks. Fill the gaps in your life, don't just shingle over them. That and wear old sneakers because roofing tar sucks, man.