You can tell a lot about people by what is in their recycling cans. Who washes their whites in bleach; who buys organic food; who has a big family (five full cans) or who might live alone (one half can). Who just had a birthday party (hot wheels boxes) or who just had a party (vodka bottles). It sounds a bit voyeur -istic but when you ride around the neighborhood as much as I do and you are about as tall as a recycling can, you notice these things.
Tonight the neighborhood held the aromas of a holiday weekend. Barbecue chicken down one street; a fire pit burning down another. The smell of weed burning and people lighting sparklers.
On my dusk ride I saw the biggest fox I saw ever saw in our neighborhood. He had this big bushy tail and a thick coat of reddish-brown fur. He jumped out of the bushes to cross the street only three feet in front of me and when he got to the other side he looked back at me as if to say "I'll see you tomorrow." Then he slowly crept off, a fat neighborhood cat close behind. I tried to talk to the cat and convince him not to follow the fox, but he had no interest in what I had to say. I hope I see him tomorrow too.
We went to see fireworks on Friday night. The Lawrenceville fireworks at Rider. I love fireworks. They always bring me back to Roosevelt Fourth of July celebrations with crepe paper decorated bicycles, birch beer from a keg, and musicians playing at "the head". For many years we would have fireworks at night due to the know-how of Brydie's Dad. That day was always magical to me. George Katz seemed to always win a big raffle prize, everyone from town was spread out on blankets and lawn chairs on the school grounds, and the mood was light and joyous.
I was looking at my friend's Disney trip pictures on Facebook. He has two young children, about the same age that Sarah and Gillian were the first time we took them. I was brought back to five year old Sarah dancing with Snow White during the parade. I remember how the sight of my little girl looking up at the characters with such adoration and pure joy caught my breath and made me cry. I still feel that way when I look at my kids. I had that reaction when Gillian and Ean helped me yesterday in a situation that we all knew was uncomfortable. The love, pride, and appreciation - it is indescribable.
I recently read an opinion piece written by a psychologist (psychiatrist?) who has children and lives with brain cancer. She spoke about the pressure of keeping her kids' lives "normal" in the midst of a "not normal" situation. Pressure on her kids, not her. I could totally relate to this. I initially felt like my kids had to plan to keep their lives "normal" this summer - with jobs and volunteer work and extraordinary plans with family and friends. When actually there is nothing "normal" about our lives right now. There is nothing normal about a Mom who sleeps three hours every afternoon, or can not feed herself. Maybe they just need to stay close. So no more talk of keeping things "normal". We are just going to "be".