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This is how I felt this morning, minus the dog. A Monday kind of feeling, not Thursday.
The redhead screamed all morning because he did not want to wear pants. This is a regular weekday occurrence in our house. For some reason it's a big surprise to him, every day, that he has to wear pants. He rolls the legs up to his knees so he can pretend they're shorts, thereby defeating the purpose of wearing them altogether.
Sometimes, when he is standing there screaming, I get this feeling of insane hilarity. Like, really, this is what we're going to fight about every day? PANTS? Is it worth it? Should I just let him run around naked?
And then I look out the window and see the formidable gray weather, and decide he's just going to have to deal with it. You never can tell what the weather will do in Denmark, but chances are it won't be warm. Usually it's like this: fog, wind, rain, and a short-lived burst of sunshine, followed by more fog, wind, and rain. Once it even started hailing in the middle of a relatively sunny summer day. I felt like I was in The Truman Show, with a deranged producer who, for no apparent reason, decided that he should break up the day with a nice, inexplicable, ten minute downpour and then immediately let it be summer again. And that's what the weather is like in Denmark.
So you can see why pants are usually a good idea, but try explaining this to a four-year-old who thinks the greatest thing since sliced bread is being able to see his knees all day long. (I don't get it either.)
At least he's cute, and also draws me things like this:
Isaac said its name is Gary. He also wrote his name on Gary's stomach ... although for some reason he started making his c's into e's, and as hard as I try to explain that the circle and the line must touch to make an a, he prefers them like this.
Eventually the boys left, to work and school, and I went on a quick 5k run around the neighborhood. My runs are never uneventful (sometimes I wish they were). People wave, yell presumably funny things in Danish (hopefully, because I always laugh), roll down car windows to ask me bizarre questions, so on. My favorite is the tall bearded fellow who lives at the very end of my route. For some reason, without fail, he is always standing in his driveway when I go running. At first I thought it was kind of awkward, but then, once I became a permanent running fixture in our neighborhood (apparently), we developed this private nonverbal joke. Sort of a 'so there you are again' kind of thing that would make more sense if you could see the way he laughs. He must have told his wife, too, because she recently started waving at me whenever I pass by, as if we were neighbors who had actually met.
Today was particularly funny because a delivery guy started to loudly hum the Rocky theme song at me when I ran past him, and I could still hear it all the way down the street. I wish this would happen every time I run. Maybe I should hire someone to follow me and hum it. Or, possibly, buy an mp3 player.
After my run (and a big pot of coffee), I got started on The List:
>>> Get six illustrations to the printers, so I can list them on Etsy by the weekend. (There are a lot of weird details involved in making prints, especially when the owner of said print-shop does not speak English or Danish and keeps inconsistent hours.)
>>> Finish current watercolor illustration. Some of you asked for more boy/girl Etsy pieces, so this one's for you. It's about home-coming (boy comes home to girl). I'll show you soon.
>>> Data project. Say no more.
>>> Write a blog post. Apparently.
>>> Make headway on short story.
Speaking of short stories: you may have read this somewhere in the blog, I am slowly (so slowly) writing a collection of short stories. The problem is, I have this bad habit of starting a new story while in the middle of another, so it's difficult to wrap things up. I like opening lines; they are my favorite part to write.
Today I started writing a story about goodbyes, and since you were all so helpful with my last short story theme (if you could only keep ten items, what would they be), I'm going to include you in this one as well.
Have you ever told someone goodbye, for good? Not in passing or in death, but a purposeful end to a relationship - any kind of relationship. If you have, you know how emotionally exhausting it can be. I've had a couple of those goodbyes, with people who have taken up a lot of space in my head. To be honest, it was kind of a relief on both accounts but, at the same time, sad. And a lot of other things, too.
So naturally I'm turning it into a short story.
What I wanted to ask you is listed below. You can answer any or all of them (or none), in a comment or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Feel free to answer even if the goodbye wasn't permanent (maybe you thought it would be until it wasn't. It happens.).
How did you feel, after? (I hope this doesn't sound insensitive; it isn't intended that way.)
Who initiated, or was it mutual?
Would you define it as good or bad, or both?
Did you get to say everything you needed to say first?
What did you do, just after?
How has your life changed since?
What things specifically remind you of this person, and why?
How do you feel about it now (assuming you've had time to adjust)?
If you saw this person again, right now, what would you say to them?
One last thing: whether it was a happy or sad goodbye, it makes you even more grateful for the people you keep, doesn't it?
Related Post: Well, Goodbye Then:
For some reason blogspot isn't letting me link things.