The evocative crispness is in the air, daylight is diminishing, and warm, almost hot afternoons follow chilly mornings. September has arrived. Summer is fading slowly, leaving the Oregon coast. Fishing season is beginning to wind down, the school year is just around the corner. My time, attention and energy are returning to my littles.
This is all part of the deal I struck with my husband when I suddenly, and shockingly at least for some, announced I wanted to quit my job last August to care for the littles. During the school year I’d be full time Nana on duty. During the summer I’d be full time support person for the ocean charter fishing business I’ve owned with my husband for over twenty-two years. I’ve always participated in the charter business but never on a full time daily basis. The summer was a growth opportunity. I’ll write about this after our last fishing trip. Probably best if I don’t say anything more.
Last Monday teachers had to report to their classrooms with a week of long prep days accompanied by meetings. I reported to Nana duty at a new location. The littles and their parents having just moved into a lovely new home. The new house is larger, one story, has a partially fenced yard complete with play structure. Best of all for me, the laundry room is right next to the kitchen. YAY!! The littles old house was a classic 100 year-old bungalow complete with washer and dryer in the basement and bedrooms upstairs ofcourse. Last year I felt I caught a break on days when nobody wet the bed.
The littles have grown like littles do. Last September they were an infant, almost three year old and kindergartener. This year the infant is right there with the big boys, in the midst of it all. He has watched them so closely, now he is on the move. The eldest is more than ready for first grade as he got slightly bored by the end of each day last week.
The almost four year old is, well, himself, only more so. When I responded to a request with an emphatic “NO”, without skipping a beat he said, “I won’t be your friend.” My first thought was my automatic parental default, learned from my mother. Something I was told long ago but I think at an age quite beyond three. “I’m not supposed to be your friend. If I was your friend I wouldn’t be doing my job!”
And then, my next thought was how quickly do we learn that withholding love, threatening emotional cut off is the way to hurt? Rejection by one dear to us is pretty tough to take . No matter what our age. I certainly didn’t take the threat seriously. Actually, it made me smile. But, it did give me pause. I have been reflecting on this ever since.