Monday, November 18, 2013

Life In Seattle, More Than Full

It is Monday morning and I am sitting at Jeanne and Dan's dining room table with Kelan and Lauren, both of whom are eating a breakfast of three crisp Applegate bacon slices. Kelan is also eating a piece of gluten free bread with jam.  Lauren, nothing but bacon.
Then they are off, with protests against putting on shoes or jackets. Lunch bags and homework - Lauren's unfinished - are jammed into backpacks.
"Your mother needs a Starbucks," says Jeanne as they head out the door. "It's been a bad morning." An early hour bathroom sharing, a daughter dawdling in bed, a son chattering continuously, a full moon last night, spilled coffee, school lunch preparation - all set her on edge. Understandably. I remember those long ago school days with lunches to make, homework undone or lost, hair uncombed. Dreadful times. And I didn't have a job to run to after the kids were dropped off at Poe, Lanier or Lamar. I note, as they head for the car, that peculiar habit of Seattle children - my four grandchildren specifically - who insist on wearing nothing but tee shirts in any sort of weather. They seem totally inured to cold and wet. Note that their mom is wearing a hooded coat for weather protection.
My two daughters with kids are overwrought, forever sleep deprived, always searching for a few moments when their thoughts will not be interrupted with requests, admonitions, wails and sibling bating. It was ever thus. I remember my Grandmother Della telling my brother and me, "Leave your poor mother alone," as she whisk us off. My brother John even had the habit of asking Mom, "What can you do for me now?" Please God, help all moms, past, present and future.
There were two sporting events this weekend. Lauren had a basketball game on Saturday, for which Jeanne gave me ear plugs. The decibel level in the Ballard Boys and Girls Club was over the top as two games with four teams of grade school girls ensued. Lauren is cool on the court so it was a game not to be missed.
I made two iPhone videos of Lauren's game to show Dad. I could tell that Dad was drawn in as he watched the girls running up and down the court, heard the buzzer and the noise of the crowd, saw the ball thrown toward the basket. Dad's eyes were always on the whereabouts of the ball. Dad not only played basketball in high school and college, he coached basketball as a young math teacher in Western NY State. It was fun to see him watch these two short videos of Lauren's game.
Yesterday, on a perfect golden fall afternoon, Charlie played his last soccer game of the season. It was also the last game for this team of boys who've been together for four years.
They played against a team of Hispanic boys - maybe Salvadorian? Their uniforms were fabulous - totally matched the orange and golden trees. Several boys had streaks of pink or orange in their sort-of mohawk hair. Parents hollered encouragements in Spanish with many 'mijos' thrown in. I wish that Charlie's team had had the opportunity to play with/against this team more often. Apparently, it was a first.
The soccer game and the sun faded at the same moment. Suddenly, it was raining and Charlie's team bundled up and headed with their parents to a sports bar in Medrona for an end of season party with pizza and trophies. Son-in-law and assistant coach Steve handed out the trophies to team members with right-on comments about each kid's skills and attributes. Caroline received kudos for designing their new uniforms and managing the game schedule.
The boys were happy, the parents had a beer or two and the early evening hour was good. Note: it is dark here in Seattle at 5:15 p.m. so when I say evening, it was probably 5:30 p.m.
This morning I am off to visit Dad and see how he's doing now that the run of antibiotics is finished. How will he fare? How's his cough? The sky is heavy and dark, more rain on the way. Perhaps that walk over the lunch hour at Green Lake with Caroline will be a wet one?
Life in Seattle is ever full.

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