Back to the New Normal
Open nesting is challenging.
The revolving door brings in gusts of cold air
and crunchy-crisp leaf-litter
as well as delight.
So very good to see them,
but your world clutters and clangs to a stop
like musical chairs in suspension
waiting frozen, like in statue tag
as the house becomes theirs again
and your never asked about routines are obliterated
in facilitation of their self-absorption.
It has been over a month since the first one blew in
exhausted, chirpy, respectful, and needing to be fed.
After only a few days overlap
–pivoting on Christmas Day–
the other one left today
with new glasses and his braces finally off
nonchalant about these upgrades but eager to get back
to the life that matters to him, where he does so well.
Our youngest has been on deferral from then until now
feeling as interrupted and invisible as we do
while having had a vacation from being “it.”
Now I’ll clean the house, sweeping it all away
like I wanted to on New Year’s Day
getting ready for a fresh dispensation, bolstering ourselves
before leapfrogging on toward the next onslaught.
Meanwhile, driving her, homeschooling her, and listening to her
feels like a skeletal schedule as my husband and I
get on with our own work and our own goals.
As huge snowflakes descend, I am alone for the first time this year
breathing in deeply the deafening silence
earnestly caring about others wherever they are
in a way that I need to learn to care for myself.
by Polly Castor