The morning skies have been gray and gloomy lately here in Los Angeles. The usual marine layer. I've been getting up early, lacing up my sneakers and running with Jude and his cross country team. They run between 2 and 4 miles, three days a week. Some of the younger, fitter parents are the "rabbits", they run at the front of the pack, setting a challenging pace for the kids. I am the "tortoise". I run/walk/drag my ass along the gray sidewalk at the back of the pack. I pretend to do this so that a grown up is with the stragglers, the handful of little girls who are slower than the rest. But really I do it because I am old and out of shape. I hope that I'm not embarrassing Jude. I asked him if he minded my running along with the group and being the very last one to finish, and he just kind of shrugged and said "No" with an implied "Duh" in his tone. "It's cool." Hopefully, this is true. I like to think that getting up and forcing myself to run my flabby, aging body will help me extend my expiration date so I will have more time with my kid, time to grow a full head of gray hair.
Jude's favorite treat lately is a delicious brown concoction we call by the silly name goody juice. My Daddy is responsible for the silly name, as he invented it. It was his favorite treat too, and he always made himself one on Saturday afternoons, right after he mowed the lawn, but before his nap. It's basically just a handmade chocolate shake - scoop chocolate ice cream into a tall glass, pour on cold milk, then vigorously squish it up and down with a big spoon until it's mixed up. Little bits of the milk freeze onto the ice cream and form little crunchy frozen bits. It's yummy. Anyway, I used to make them for Jude when he was little (HERE's a super sweet and short piece about it from many years ago), but now he likes to make them for himself. Unfortunately, because of the vigorous squishing necessary, the child now has large brown stains all over his shirts. Jude loves goody juice because it's so very tasty. I love it because I like to think of it as a treat he can share with his late granddaddy who he never knew, but from whom he inherited his nose, his curious, logical mind and his big brown eyes.
Jude has started altar serving. Mommy and Aunt Grace are so excited they can't stand it. He was pretty nervous his first time out, but after he managed to get through it without dropping the body of Christ on the ground, he was pretty pumped. Because, of course, that is the altar boy's greatest fear, dropping a chalice filled with little white wafers which are THE BODY OF CHRIST (said in the voice of Morgan Freeman or some such person). I can't tell you how sweet it is, seeing him in his little angelic white robe, carrying a candle or the bible and acting terribly holy and devout.
Some of the piety was erased the second time he served when he informed me that the priest farted during mass. He was proud to report that he did not laugh. It makes me very proud that he's serving his church in this way. Mama always dreamt of my being an altar server, but the slooooooow to change Catholic church didn't officially allow girls to serve until 1994! But I know that there's a very happy and proud white-haired lady up in heaven smiling down on him every time he dons the robe.
Until two weeks ago, we did not own an HDTV. We're just always so damned broke, and couldn't justify spending the green when the old tv was still functional. I discovered, however, that this had been causing a bit of a problem for Jude and his friends. When they'd come over to play Minecraft, without HD capability they were unable to play together on a split-screen. Apparently, this is a big deal. I never knew this until I overheard Jude's friends complaining about it. Jude had never once EVER complained. Never once whined or asked why all of his friends had a big modern television, but we didn't. He had to have been green with envy, but he never shared this. You know, if he'd been a greedy, whiny begger, we probably wouldn't have wanted to get him a big new tv, but because he never even asked, Jimmy and I decided to just pull out the good old green American Express card and buy one for him. And seeing his delight when his friends came for a sleepover made it worth every penny.
Gretchen is tucking Jude in and giving him a kiss good night.
Hey bugs, can I ask you a kind of weird question? It's
for something I'm writing.
What is the color of love?
What is the color of love? Just say whatever
pops into your mind first.
(frowning - red is so obvious and boring)
Red? Why red?
Well, you know...hearts and roses and stuff.
So, just the Valentine's thing?
I don't know. Love is red, you know? You said
for me to say what popped into my head and that's it.
Okay. That's good. Thanks. Sweet dreams.
She bends down and gives him a kiss, then turns off the bedside lamp.
Would you mind staying with me for a little while?
She curls up next to him in the bed, happy because he's growing up, and seldom wants her to stay with him for a while. She burrows her nose into the back of his head, inhales the sweet, sweaty smell of the boy and closes her eyes.
And the color she sees when she closes her eyes is...red.
Please join Ginny Marie and me in the Spin Cycle this week with your take on The Color of Love! Just link your post in the Linky below and you'll be linked both here and on Lemon Drop Pie!
Come back on Monday to find out next week's Spin Cycle topic.
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