Sunday, April 28, 2013

50 Shades of Gray -- and not the fun kind

Does your mood ever reflect the weather?

Mine does. I prefer the summer above all seasons -- even when it's so muggy the mosquitos stop swim through the air to snack on you. I like to think that means my default setting is sunny and bright.

Today, unfortunately, was gray and drizzly. Good for the flowers we planted yesterday at the neighborhood park but not at all the reward I was looking for after our volunteer effort. I'm a little sore, but Jeff hurt his back so bad that he skipped basketball and the batting cave. (I know he's really sick and not just whining when he gives up fun stuff.)

We haven't been good neighbors for the past couple of years as other obligations made us miss the annual clean up event, so it's possible we worked a little harder than normal. By my estimate, we owe them at least a few more years of hard labor Alison loved that park when she was little.

Lately it's just a green flash as we pass it going up or down the Monon on our bikes. But I figure it'll be where she first tries cigarettes and booze if she ever discovers that she won't fall down dead immediately if either substance passes her lips.

I'm not sure exactly where she got that idea, but she's sure her mild asthma will do her in if she ever indulges. I see no need to correct her.

While Jeff and I were toiling, Alison got distracted by a little boy who needed some company on the playground, newly cleared of weeds thanks to Alison. Before our three-hour tour was up, she's gotten two phone numbers from moms who thought she might be a good, local babysitter.

"I've got to come down here more often," she said, waving her paper with the first mom's number.

She's a week away from turning 12, which I think was about the time I started babysitting. I'm not sure the Johnsons ever really thought about my qualifications. And it's a good thing they never came home unexpectedly or that Kelly, Shelly or Michael ever ratted me out for being a terrible babysitter. I remember a lot of Totino's pizza and TV.

I'm sure Alison will do much better as an authority figure than I did.

We had Jenna for a while this weekend and as we came home from delivering her, I asked Ali if they'd talked about high school again. They spent five years together in day care but have been torn asunder for elementary and middle school. They've been plotting an educational reunion for a while.

"A little," she said. "You know we're going to North Central."

I just nodded. She looked over at me. "You're going to cry when I go to college, aren't you?" she asked.

"Maybe," I allowed. "I'll be sad. But I'll be happy, too."

"You know I'll visit, and you know you can visit me, right? " she said.

I nodded, but was calculating the odds of college-girl Alison wanting her mom on campus...

Like I said, gray and drizzly.

No comments: