Friday night and the lights are low throughout the house. I can still see the flickering of the Shabbos candles in the other room and were I not wearing headphones I would probably hear the soft snoring of the dog. Somewhere across the house two boys have finally stopped giggling.
Best friends who spent bits and pieces of their summer break pretend not to be excited that school is back in session- but secretly smile. Back in the classroom they get to see each other every day- a special privilege that adults remember with fondness. Days when going to work meant having to spend eight hours hanging out with friends.
The dark haired beauty entered first grade with a fierce determination to learn quickly. She has a lot to do and doesn’t want to waste time. In spite of my best efforts that girl is anxious to grow up to be big. She tells me that I don’t understand, little hands on her hips and her head cocked to the side she does her best to set me straight.
Not too many people have a chance to make that happen. I am relentless, tenacious and unyielding on some things. I had my children in mind when I wrote Tasteless And Shameful. Couldn’t ignore his actions, couldn’t ignore that sort of bad behavior and so I did what I felt was necessary. There was a war of words between us.
No other way to describe it. He drew first blood but I ended it. Sent salvo after salvo at him, the whole shock and awe thing. It sounds ridiculous to describe it that way, but sometimes you take a stand. Sometimes you make a spectacle out of yourself because it has to be done. It must be done.
I never expected him to change his mind. I never expected him to act other than he did- but the beauty of holding a argument online is that there are lurkers who read your words. They come, sight unseen and read and consider the crumbs you leave for them. That is who I was trying to reach. The fence sitters who can still be influenced.
Candles flicker and I find myself thinking about past sunsets. Somewhere in the memory banks are moments I spent watching the mountains against this incredible backdrop of orange, yellow, blue and purple. Stood and watched as the light faded and was replaced by twinkling lights in the night sky.
Some of those memories come forward and I can see a 20 year-old man walk off into the dark, his fingers intertwined in the hands of another. Other memories jockey for position and I can see him years later, fingers intertwined again, only the hand is much smaller. And this time the girl with dark hair has her head resting on his shoulder, her body slumped across his. More soft snoring…
The first girl is out there in the dark…somewhere living her life. The second is also out there, but far closer. Most nights she would also be asleep in the house, but on this night she is with her grandparents. On this night she left with meaning and purpose. Wearing a special dress and carrying very important items in her purse she barely kissed me goodbye- too busy to let dad slow her down.
And now I sit here, alone with my thoughts, staring at shadows, wondering what the future holds and if I will get to meet to the echoes of my past here in the present.