|Photo by Rachel Ray Photography (of course)|
I’m perched on an old barstool in our garage, watching him work. The tinies we’ve made are sleeping in their beds, worn out by growing up. We’ve worked all weekend, me and him, loving our Saturdays but somehow filling them with too-much-to-do. After Sunday afternoon began to turn into conversations about what to do for supper and for the evening ahead, tossing out suggestions of drives, parks, playgrounds, pools, we realised that we really didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything but be here, home, together. So we tossed some chicken on the barbeque and sat on our back deck, listening to the creek when the tinies stopped talking long enough to take a breath now and again. He balanced our littlest girl on his knee, eating one-handed and I drank a super tiny Corona called a Corinita, about the size of a baby bottle, that made him roar with laughter when he confronted them in the fridge earlier. We ate blueberry-peach crisp that Anne and I made that morning, berry juice running down our chins and the day was just a big show off, warm and bright, lazy and happy.
Now it’s just us in the dim, sitting in the garage, me watching him work on a cherry dresser. He’s methodically painting this Craigslist find for the girls’ room the colour Lamb and, bless him, he never even laughed or rolled his eyes when I sent him to Chilliwack to pick it up, promising to paint it myself this time. We both knew I wasn’t going to be painting that dresser but he picked it up anyway, bought the paint from the circled paint chip card I handed him and got to work that weekend, sanding and painting, while the tinies rode bikes and watched the jets from the local air show overhead.
The only condition of his labour is my presence so I sit, perched, feet swinging, talking. We pick out music to listen to and the fluorescent light above our heads buzzes and hums. We’re talking about discipline (or the lack of it), church today, new friend debriefings, the book I’m writing, the school he’s trying to finish (still) and how frustrating it is to work and work and still feel like you’re just barely making ends meet because I do a lot of things really well but unfortunately, none of them make us much money.
The moths are swooping in and the owls are screeching out back of the house. I keep poking my head inside to tip my ears upstairs but all is quiet. Even we are quiet now, listening to Josh Garrel‘s sing about love and war and the sea in between.
He’s working and he’s thorough and patient, full attention on the work before him. My eyes are smiling because I know that look and I know his patience, his attention, well and I think I’d like to sit here and watch him work for a while longer, sun setting over the white house with green trim. When I kiss him, he tastes like barbeque chicken and summer days of working, again, just like every summer and I am so glad we chose each other for these days.