Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday night

Yesterday's biting wind and menacing skies gave way to today's blue sunny cheer, a quick change from fall to spring, windows thrown open that were yesterday shut tight against pelting branches and leaves. And so Munchkin too is changeable, a maybe-sick, maybe-teething, whirling dervish of a toddler: full-throated laughter changes to whining, crying breaks off into interested silence, a silly dance ends in a bad fall, a song in howls of pain, and then, again, a break in the clouds and a new word. Shoe! Walk! Home! Chip!

From flirtatious neck tilt and goofy smile to flailing screaming tantrum, and back, in a flash. Our weekend has been like this: the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, wildly oscillating extremes along the continuum of normal.

Pynchon is out tonight, a live martial arts demonstration event, but wishing he were home. I'm cooking, feeling a need to cocoon in my kitchen: broccoli casserole, chili, peanut loaf. Munchkin, suddenly feverish and red-cheeked at bathtime, sleeps fitfully upstairs. Every forty-five minutes or so she lets out an anguished, lone wail, then goes back to sleep.

L's cancer is terminal--he has been told he has one or two years. A cousin of mine died very suddenly and inexplicably this weekend. Her parents are devastated, and I am shocked. She was 44.

I spoon ketchup into a loaf pan, plop mushroom soup concentrate into a casserole. I breathe in the smell of cooking onions and try to feel safe.

18 comments:

Kyla said...

Oh Mimi. I am sorry.

This packed a punch.

I hope your sweet girl feels better, and I'm hoping for comfort to find you for all the rest.

bubandpie said...

So many seasons packed side by side, this time of year. About L, your cousin - I'm sorry. I can't imagine.

Jenifer said...

Oh Mimi, what a weekend you have had. My deepest sympathies and sadness for your cousin and L. Life can appear very random sometimes, I think trying to feel safe is something we all try to do. I hope Monday brings bright skies again.

slouching mom said...

Oh, oh. I am sorry about your cousin, and I am sorry about L. Sigh.

Beautifully written -- I'm still thinking about the parallels between the jumps from fall to spring and back again, and the whirling dervish that is a toddler.

Beck said...

I'm very sorry for both the loss of your cousin and for poor L. Holding a baby is often the very best comfort.

nomotherearth said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, and L's diagnosis. Home sometimes feels like the only safe place.

Mad Hatter said...

Hey you. You know that if I were there I would give you a huge hug and then we would move on to talking about handed down family recipes involving ketchup and mushroom soup base. I'm thinking of you.

Mimi said...

Mad -- I know! In times of stress, the arugula wilts in the crisper, and out comes the velveeta. Why is that, I wonder?

Christine said...

oh! this is such sad news about your cousin and L. i'm so sorry. really.

Omaha Mama said...

Sorry about all of the bad news. That is tough. I'm sorry that you spent a night cooking away the pain, but I know exactly how that goes. Usually I'd be eating it directly from a carton though (Ben & Jerry's) and not cooking it. So at least you're doing it the healthy way. I hope that your little Munchkin is well soon. It's a roller coaster, toddlerhood, and all of the colds (brace yourself for one after the other this year) just add to the drama.

Take care.

NotSoSage said...

Mimi, you and I are do-ers. Faced with these upheavals, we need to hunker down and cook or clean or do anything to keep our hands and hopefully, perhaps unsuccessfully, minds busy. I hope that doing so brings you some peace. I'm so sorry for your loss. I had somehow missed your story about L and J and got to read it...beautiful.

kittenpie said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry it's been a rough weekend for you and your girl, for your loss just suffered and for another waiting in the wings. Sometimes, coccooning is a necessary. I hope all that comfort food does some of its work, Mimi.

Oh, The Joys said...

Mimi,
I am thinking of you. If there were a way to send safety, I would.
Jessica

Bon777 said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend Mimi and for the news about L.

crazymumma said...

I know. That first blast of cold and sudden darkness made me feel like crawling further back into my cave with a torch.

I am sorry for all of the sickness and death around you.

BOSSY said...

This grownup business sure can blow. So sorry.

Karen said...

just so sorry.

Lisa said...

Wow. What a weekend. Hope your little one is feeling chipper again. And so sorry to hear of your loss and bad news. My heart is with you.