Hot Java

When my girls were little, I occasionally sang a few lines from an old song — just around the corner there’s a rainbow in the sky, so let’s all have another cup of coffee.

For the record, neither daughter is a fan of this song, or of my singing, at all.

These days, there’s no around the corner, or, if there is, we’re just not looking there. Election? Halloween? That once eternal late-fall slide towards the holidays and whatever those might bring….

In a strange kind of way, this hovers on relief — no worries this year about whether we’ll have any family at our holiday table — the divorced mother’s woe — as the answer is clear: we won’t.

In the void, we move from cup of coffee to a spontaneous late afternoon walk with a friend. And the fall foliage is still mighty fine.

Pastimes

I wake before dawn thinking of shuffleboard and listen to the rain pattering.

It’s Wednesday, and my high school daughter is home today. With high school in session two days a week, she’s patched together a strange schedule. Yesterday, she walked to school around ten (skipping the idiocy of study hall in the gym), had algebra and driver’s ed, and spent the afternoon playing soccer.

I lie in the dark, grateful beyond grateful for soccer.

When her father and I divorced, I kept thinking, my god, we need to do better for this girl. So it goes with school this year. Really? I keep thinking. Is this the best I can do?

I remind myself, again, that I’m part of the problem. At 15, she’s stepped into a kind of college schedule, coming and going, utterly responsible for her own work, burrowed on the couch with her school-issued Chrome book, determined.

The truth is, the best has long since slipped out of vision. Hence, perhaps, the appeal of a shipboard game, hours of leisurely chat, surrounded by the glittering sea.

I’m not about to get that shuffleboard option. I rise and feed the hungry cats, brew coffee and open my laptop.

Rain falls steadily — a welcome sound. The chaos of the world is clamoring loudly. Meanwhile, my daughter leans into her work. I brew more coffee. Day by day — the only way to parent.