These are the views from the front desk. Normally, I prefer to sit at the desk Dad and Dave are hovering over, as they quote parts and materials, but today I sit amongst the black and white view. The weather is promising rain and as I gaze out the window to the traffic whizzing by; I’m stifling yawns and trying to keep my eyes open.
Two quotes, a payroll e-file and several phone calls later, my gaze falls upon the pictures on the office walls . You can’t get away from them. Mom has portraits of our three boys from Maui from six years ago in huge frames. It was the first time, Charlie, ever rode on a boogie board and he was not a happy camper. These days, he’s quite the dare devil but at one year old, the close-up taken of him was one of shock. The little guy held onto the boogie board for dear life; the leash tethered to my arm as I snapped the shot.
Most of the pictures, I take, are in various technicolor; but my preference is black and white. Maybe that is how my brain likes to look at life too? I find myself more centered and focused on dreary, black and white days. The shades of gray don’t scream and distact me like the bright hues do. It drives our family crazy since several rolls of film, from said Hawaiian excursion six years ago, were in black and white. Why would you not take pictures of the deep colors of the rainforest, the ocean? my mother-in-law asked. Hawaii is known for its deep, tropical hues and bright flowers.
Black and white sharpens my focus. Though most days are a blur of an endless paint palette; my mind is filing things stark and contrasting. Dave tends to have problems dealing with gray areas; things not in discrete numbers. That’s why he’s a computer science guy and a mathematician. Things like: the fates, faith, trust, etc.; these are all nebulous things. How do you capture them and know they are real?
Dave wants things concrete. When they are not it makes him uneasy. Fluctuations in our economy, the world, even asteroids (wow did you see that one in Russia?) make him wonder about the future; our future. Last night I told him we have ten good years left until all of our boys leave our household. We have to live in the here and now and live each minute with intention and meaning. You never know if that asteroid is going to land on you, today; tomorrow? And after that, it’s just he and I. He was a bit teary about the boys but at the thought of he and I, he grinned salaciously.
This picture is directly across from my desk on a bookshelf. We pass it every day. But today I actually saw it. Family is the feeling that your heart is home again reads the frame. Though our income is not steady enough for Dave’s tastes, it allows us flexibility. We are a family owned business. We know our customers, personally. We get invited to their milestones; like kids’ weddings. I can be available for my kids, as needed. I try to tell the hubby, “money isn’t everything.” (But it’d sure be nice to have lots of it….) I had to remind him; our boys don’t remember things, but experiences.
I point to the picture of the boys, to Dave, as he rushes by. A weird sound came from one of the machines in the shop. I see that faded shot as if it were yesterday. The 2 y/o, 4 y/o and newborn sons all sat on my bedroom floor. The boys still do this now at night; most times wresting and rolling; delaying bedtime. The legs are longer, the noises louder. Sometimes bodily sounds sneak out to lots of laughter.
What do you at work, Mom? one of the boys asked last night. I thought about that for a long time; before answering. When I did answer, this was my reply.
“I busy myself to prepare for when I’m not defined as mothering all of you.”
Just now, as I typed that, I realized the fallacy in my statement. I’m ALWAYS going to be a mom and a wife. That’s my job. I’ll have to tell the boys that as they jostle around tonight.