I am sitting at the balcony. It’s a beach house. The only sound is a faint laugh from the couple sitting, with their feet in what I think is cold water. They have been there since I got here in the wee hours.
It’s a chilly morning.
My kids are at graduate school and my husband has gone for a walk with a group of men from the neighbourhood. They do this every fortnight. It’s a “men connect” , my husband would say when I beg him to stay in for a chat.
“I need this, Oesi, I need some manpowerment”‘. And he would give me that ‘whatever’ look.
My husband is adamant that since I began writing this book, I had become too overprotective of words, even tensing up at their ‘careless’ use, or attempts at new creations.
I argue my case.
I am a student. I am learning to write through writing. And the best support, besides coffee, is the use of a proper language, using tried and tested words. We don’t seem to agree on this one. We need to relax and enjoy life, he says. Work life made our lives too rigid, he argues. I agree, but not completely.
Yeah, here we are, waking up to two of us and going to bed the same. We cannot always fight. So today I let it pass, “manpowerment”. I love you, please come back for a chat.
It’s a lonely life. The house is too silent, sometimes so disturbingly quiet I cannot even concentrate. We are back to when we first started. No child, all grown up and gone. What remains are the walls and us. We try to make the best of it though. But some days are hard. There are moments I want my babies back in the house. I miss their unkept bedrooms and the upside down kitchen.
I miss telling them to clean up after themselves. I want to check their homework books and this time I promise I won’t give a disapproving look when they struggle with a simple sum. I miss you babies. I miss your frantic calls from the school office,
“Mama we have been waiting for a long time, nobody came to fetch us”.
I miss that you would trust me with your lives. That even after some discipline, you would still come back and call me “mama”. I miss your flocking into our bedroom in the mornings. I miss the insistent requests “mama may I please shower in your bathroom, please please mama.” When did you grow up?