Sunday, November 28, 2010

quiet in the head

I'm entangled with yarn today, and the warm - almost ruthlessly warm - sunshine is falling just so, through the windows and onto me, the yarn, and the bowl of browned butter-and-edamame garlic pasta. Or, rather, what's left of the pasta - the boys, who loudly bowled out the door not five minutes ago, ate most of it.


Wait - what? Oh. Yes, I left you in the middle of a story. A hike was about to happen, I know, I know. And oh, yes. Sorry - when I left you, the Eldest wasn't eating things like butter. There was this dairy allergy (and a few others). Um. Well, look: here's the deal.

Blogs die when people stop writing them. They stutter, look sad, pop up with the odd, apologetic, oh I'm so sorry I miss my blog post, stutter - and stop. Mine stopped, waiting for me to finish the next part of the story. And life burbled around me, asking me to write about it - and always, to write about it now.

But I'm about to go hiking! I told life.

Life snorted, and tried not to roll its eyes. But now, said life, you are making crystallized ginger. See? Isn't it wonderful and yummy? Doesn't the warmth of it unfold on your tongue? And now, the Toddles is being alarming and splendid and razing your ideas of parenthood all over again, showing you why he was obsessively playing with those number flashcards. Oh, and did he just explain negative numbers to you? Now is full. Write now.

And do it - well, you know.

Oh, I said to life. I will. Just as soon as I finish this other thing...and you know the end of that story.

So, yes. I will take you hiking with us, up the volcano - and into it. I will show you a net and a boy and a biologist, and I'll explain about the dairy that came back and the boy who silently built webs of numbers. But today, there is yarn.

It's one of my favorite yarns, the Mochi Plus Yarn, in the Neptune Rainbow - a swirl of green-to-blue-to-purple, soft and silky. I used it once, to make a kipa for the Toddles. He loved it, and it lasted only long enough for me to learn not to wash wool in hot water. (ouch.)

But today's work isn't a kipa, and it isn't really mine. With the crisp Thanksgiving weather outside, Chanuka is coming. And that means, the boys and I working to make some gift for their teachers. We talked a bit, explored a bit, and then I made them a deal: for every row that you do, I'll do one as well.

Okay, they said. And dove into my stash, choosing a yarn for each teacher. The Toddles chain-stitched a row, tossed it to me, grabbed a second ball of yarn - and made all of eight stitches before disappearing to soothe himself with some Lego. The Eldest, however, glared. He moaned. He bitched. And then, he was quiet.

He smiled. Forwent a grin. Finished a row, and reached for a second ball of yarn. The next day, he would be sent upstairs after shrieking at his brother for oh, goodness knows what. He'd find me, hiding in my room, working on my part of the bargain. He'll curl up in my bed, pick up a random ball of yarn, and chain-stitch for a while.

It makes quiet in my head, he'll tell me. And I'll understand perfectly.
It does, indeed.