October is slinking out the door like a Montreal dirt dog. I saw a really weird dog today while out and about town with King Leo. It looked like a fuzzy puppet creature hip to hip with his master, a female version of Sherlock Holmes. All he was missing were the marionette strings and all she was missing was the spy glass. Dynamic fantasy duo. The tiny boy was too busy mewing in his stroller, face scrunched in pain from the new tooth pushing through the soil like a fresh white daisy growing in his mouth. Cutting teeth is such a weird concept for me.
Speaking of the little chicken (he has rooster feather hair in the morning), Leo took his first step today (unaided by play thing, wooden stool, or any of my limbs). Whoa! We were sitting on the floor playing with his favorite black ball like we do everyday and all of the sudden he had pulled himself up along the fridge door and just took a step towards me, not thinking anything of it. I looked on from my place on the floor, completely amazed to be the first to witness such a thing. He toddled in place just for a moment like a stuffed bowling pin before smashing to the hardwood with a great gull shriek. Leo, Louie, Lou-Lou, Little Chicken, King Leo, Leonard Arthur Spry learns to walk: Day one. Fuck.
My work just got a whole lot busier. That pretty much sums up my 9-5. Every morning I walk into his house, he screams a bloody murder hello and hands me some toy. And so begins our day. Out slips mama bear, and I warm a bottle for nap number one. He sleeps well. When he wakes up, I pick out some awesome outfit (Baby Joe stripes all the way) for him and comb his blonde rooster hair down to a dull roar. Then we play. Well I lie on the floor and he climbs on me or throws things at my face. Then we go for a quick walk with the millionaire stroller (orange) and drop letters in the post or pick up things for his mama or whatever. Sometimes we swing or cruise to the park to look at the birds. Today I stopped and got a bagel and he chose the very moment I was paying my whole 70 cents to the Fairmont bagel lady to squawk and shit his pants. Thanks kid. We went home and had a very successful lunch.
At ten months, Leo has just learned to squish any and all food (save for cheese and soft tofu) between his lips and onto his shoulders. Picture some kind of machine that Playdough would invent, that is what it looks like. He usually pulls this maneuver while I am spooning my lunch down my own hatch. Fortunately, I am quicker than he is and am getting really good at shoveling it right back in when he least suspects it.
After lunch we go for a long walk by the mountain to watch the leaves change or to my favorite park in a neighborhood called Outremont where the Hasidic Jewish wig mama's hang out with their equally priced strollers. There is a great big pond with a fountain and a nice walking path that snakes through the whole thing. It always reminds me of Peanut Park and I can't seem to get enough of nostalgia these days, so that's where we go. He usually peaces out about half an hour into the journey which gives me juuuuust enough time to do a drawing or write a fast letter or read a bit. Then we swing for a long time until Leo's legs get all stiff and funny. It's a safe bet he has probably shit himself again so off we go, homeward; Leo singing with the gulls on the pond. He sleeps again for a quick bit and I cruise around the house reading his mama's fancy cookbooks and cleaning up.
At five o'clock he is passed off and I head home clutching my plastic bag of tupperware. I like walking past the middle school at the end of Leo's street right around 5:05 because all the slutty junior high girls hike up their panty hose while they smoke in the alley. There is an old woman with a terrifying face who lurks on Waverly as well, sweeping leaves at random, yelling out in her mother tongue. And then there are the cats. So many cats. At least ten on my eight minute walk. They are so nonchalant about the goings on. They are either completely oblivious to the seasonal hand changing or extraordinarily aware. I like them, they make me miss our cat Gizzy. The one that got away.
The Fall that got away. The cat that got away. The expectant Tiny Mom that got away.
It is hard to say good bye to the things that we are not ready to release.
Yesterday as Mitch and I waited for the light to change after watching Andrea's bus whoosh away from the curb outside the metro stop, he turned to me and told me to "get involved". We chose this move, I have grieved The Loss Of long enough and now it is time to get involved. "I know. Okay". I will get involved. Sometimes it is so much easier to stay at home in this long and lean apartment in the grey twelve year old Reebok pants that I bought at the dollar store in Red Lake, than to get involved. But it is time. Now that we have rearranged our apartment to better suit us, I am sitting in the empty work/guest room (that used to house not only the bed, but also Sula during her landing period from Germany; and Andrea only hours ago at the very spot I am now sitting at at the table) wishing it was filled with the sound of sewing. Soon enough. Soon eeeeenough. (I did find some incredible tags to print the Lady Longbody logo on today!).
It was something else to have Andrea come through our home belly first, and knowing that the tiny dancer was right there too, exploring our new home and swimming through gestation on the different sound frequencies of rushing water and angel hair pasta (hard right angle) and Nina Simone on vinyl. It was so special. They are so special to me, to Mitch, to us. The moment T Moms and the unborn girl walked through our doorway, it was like no time had passed at all. Mise en place, for a start. The same shower curtain, the same Top Hat print in the hall. You noticed all of the right things and there wasn't even a moment where I felt the need to apologize for a single thing. That is friendship, or a piece of it. There was such ease, it was there, settled into my center middle like a fox in an easy den even before you arrived at our door.
Mitch, Rags (+ Chilly) and I bellied up to Mitch's wonderful pasta dinner spread around the red table in the tall sewing room (sans sewing machine) and fell back into everything familiar that I have so longed for these last months. It felt like you walked right over, just a few blocks down from us, balancing a baguette on your daughter's head. What a woman. Whoa, I love you. Please come back with your family (whoa!). Awesome.
And so, life is chugging glugging walking toddling doddling zipping dipping falling meandering and hustling right along. Out the door with Fall we go. And all I can think of is Erin under the white and yellow scalloped awning, Lisa covered in gold flek with sweat pouring between her beautiful bosom, Liza head bent with the weight of midterm study (breathe in and out, in and out), Madhavi's bare arms because she insisted I take her arm warmers for the "very cold Autumn days to come" (which I gratefully donned today on a walk to Parc Outremont), Rab on a date with Bonnie 'Prince' Billie, Ronny Rouge teaching hip hop to seven year olds with attitude (perfect).
I-WANT-PEEEEEEEEEEEEET-ZZA--- MK and Assley style. Rap it. Whipping cream coming out like a water fall.
Dad, I will write more now that I remembered how. Also, a crop of new Belle Province photos coming as soon as I feel inclined to make the trek downtown with the squealing Chicken boy. Patience is a damn virtue.