Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Papa in Mexico, Day One
Papa left for Mexico this morning. We were supposed to drive him to the airport at 6:30 a.m., but after some late-night debauchery I convinced him to find another ride instead. Our friend Heather got up early before work and drove him across town in his linen pants and short-sleeved shirt that are far too chilly for this cold weather we're having. Bastian woke up when Jon got out of the shower and Aleks woke up when Papa wanted to say goodbye, so we all ended up mostly staying awake anyway, though we did lay in bed for awhile. Bastian nursed and Aleks pressed himself against me, all knees and elbows.
At one point, Aleks asked if there were 6 more years left. I asked him, "until what?" He said, "Nothing. Just are there 6 more years left?" I started thinking about the infinence of time and space and how much they scared me when I was roughly six-years-old and first started wondering about the space beyond space and the hollow vacuum of forever. I told him that there were far more than six years left, that there would always be years, that years went on forever and ever. He didn't say anything, so I don't know if he understood or if he was confronted with the terrifyingly huge concept of infinity and the impossible task of imagining what it looks like or if he even understood what I meant or if I answered the question completely inappropriately or what.
The question itself scared me though. I have this superstitious curiosity about the psychic abilities of children and when they begin to throw around the concept of an end to everything, it freaks me out a bit. Does Aleks know something I don't? Is he somehow specially attuned to the universe and is subconsciously sharing his unique awareness like how house pets behave oddly prior to earthquakes? Is what Jon and I call the "zombie apocalypse"* on its way? I tried to just put it out of my mind.
*Zombie apocalypse is how we refer to the end of days, the crumbling of infrastructure and/or modern/American civilization due to any number of factors: nuclear war, global warming, peak oil, radical revolution, et cetera. Gives a little fun, kitschy flare to the whole terror of surviving nuclear winter or severe world-wide drought/flood cycles, food shortages, infrastructure collapse, roving bands of militia, et cetera.
It is odd though too, how his question sparked in me a lingering dread that comes with the attempt to encapsulate in my head, where there remain boundaries and limitations even in the trillions of neurons firing every second, the very idea of everything, forever, infinity. After all, the 17 mind movements that form each thought are so decidedly finite, so quantifiable, and in being calculable, practically antithetical to infinity.
The children eventually got up and retreated to the living room where I heard them getting out the drawer of metal cars and the drawer of wooden cars. I laid in bed for some time longer, trying to sleep again, and was almost there when the incessant creaking of one of the side chairs in the dining room drew my attention out of semi-sleep. I hurried out of bed to discover Aleks perched on the two car drawers stacked on top of his small wooden chair which was standing on the sky/water side chair. He had just managed to procure a bag of 40 million miniature resee cups from atop the plant ridge above the built-in china cabinet when I came in. I retrieved him from his pointedly precarious position, gave the boys each one miniature resee cup and found a new hiding place for the rest of them, not quite as far from their reaches, but which will work for the time being due to the effort involved in attempting to recoup their loss.
Figuring the boys were hungry, hence their quest for chocolate, I put two organic flaxen toaster waffles in the toaster for them. Then, of course, only one of the letter plates which must hold all their food was clean, so I had to wash dishes. Not just the one dish because the sink was too full for that, but all of the dishes. Then the butter wouldn't melt properly, so I heated the waffles in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt it. Thus, I was up. I cleared a space in the dish-drying area for the coffee pot, started up the laptop, chucked a good five scoops of organic fair-trade ethiopian blend into the reusable coffee basket, and began my day far, far too early.
The boys watched cartoons on Cartoon Network dot com (so much for being TV free) and I sat down at the dining table to catch up on my forums and long for my husband. He will return in 11 days. It wasn't quite until this morning that I realized how very much I will miss him. Not just long for reprieve in the constant care of two children, or someone else to make dinner every night like usual, but actually miss him.
On his way out, I told him that I can't live without him and to say hi to my peeps in Mexico and bring me back some Aztec gold. It's not precisely true that I can't live without him, and I doubt he'll send my regards or bring me back gold at all, much less Aztec gold, especially seeing as it was largely the Mayans in what is now Mexico, wasn't it? Nonetheless, that's what we parted on.
And I do miss him already. It is terrifying to have no contact with him. I may get an email at the beginning of his trip and likely at the end thanks to the remarkable prevalence of internet cafes in places other than Ohio, but in the time when he will be hitchhiking in Oaxaca, there should be a long stretch of nothing. Such silence is heart-wrenching.