Posts Tagged ‘chaos’

Organizing the Chaos

13 March 2011

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Dear J-

One of the other nice things about this trip is that, because I traveled on a Sunday, I get tomorrow off. Thus instead of having to brave the traditional Sunday tourist crowds at the places we haunt we could choose to do so tomorrow instead if we want. Today we went to IKEA instead of the usual Zoo or Sea World so I spent part of the afternoon assembling flat-packed furniture while my little figgy assistant ran back and forth grabbing fasteners and pieces on command.

It’s remarkable where she has come from — we used to have to wait for her to nap before attempting to put things together so she wouldn’t get mashed by the odd slab of wood — to today when she was a willing participant in organizing her room, dumping all the toys that had lived on the floor for weeks into appropriately-sized bins and bringing them over as the frame took shape. It all made for a fast hour and a much improved room.

Life is sometimes about taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way. I spend a week away from home and get an extra day back from last week. And right now I can’t think of a better way to spend it than amidst our own domestic splendor.

Mike

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Homeward Bound

11 March 2011

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Dear J-

I get to the check-in kiosk and there’s a new option: change your flight? The moment I impulsively click yes to see what’s available I realize just to what extent TV and the Amazing Race has ruined my life. Rather than stick to the original plan and cool my heels in Providence for a few hours I’m on a flight and smugly congratulating myself that it was fifty-five dollars well spent, getting out a little early and adding a stop but getting home a couple of hours early.

The original ticket called for me to travel through Baltimore to San Diego, one stop but not touching down until seven PM. Standby adds a stop in Phoenix. When I touch down in Baltimore they’re already taking a through count and I’m bumped off the plane. The agents scramble on my behalf while having to deal with an unceasing stream of lame questions, finally getting me back through Nashville instead and I sink back into my chair with as little grace as possible, relief overwhelming what adrenaline has propped up for the past hour. They take my bad at the door but at this point I’m just happy to be pointed in the right direction and I can finally remember the little squeal of glee I let out this morning realizing that I’d be home tonight.

Because that’s part of the fun in traveling. It’s great to find new places and walk down unfamiliar streets but knowing at the end of it all you get to put your head down in the usual places and kiss the right faces makes the return that much sweeter. When I finally got back to the hotel room in Providence the first thing I went looking for was a CVS, not because I needed the Coca-Cola and Doritos but because out was familiar. How many nights had I ridden the last bus of the night home to Jamaica Plain and stopped a little short just so I could make a meal of it, sorrow of solitude drowned with junk food? I did out again last night to remind me just how lucky I am, coming home to the chaos I’ve grown to miss.

Mike

Mirror Mess

9 May 2009

Dear J-

One of those many ways the great unnamed they say your life changes upon reaching parenthood is no doubt the ordered chaos that spreads throughout your world. It’s not just the messes made (children are inherently leaky, let’s say, and various fluids can appear in copious amounts from unexpected places), it’s also the tableaus and arrangements you never could have anticipated.

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This morning, the figgy construction crew was hard at work making native art installations all over the house, here a window display of food and milk, there a pile of rocks just so. It’s hard to tell if pulling all the tissues out of the box is art or if it’s malicious, wanton destruction, but the results are the same nonetheless — a long trail of things to be set right. As I type, I take note of the cups neatly stacked around me, a spoon in each one — one spoon per cup.

Perhaps it means that her mind is wired like mine, though; growing up, I was notorious for having to have everything just so. It’s like looking into a mirror some days; I wonder what her earliest memory will turn out to be, later on.

Mike