The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Calling It A Day August 17, 2013

As I write this Elihu is downstairs playing his drum set. It’s interesting to hear him work out new ideas. I’m impressed with how long he’s been at it now; it’s been at least forty five minutes since I retired to my room to put away the laundry (I think it’s evident that’s not getting done) and he’s come up only once to make sure that I’d heard something new he’d been playing. I assured him I had. Earlier today he busked a bit on Broadway and again I heard new sounds. He’d played downtown on Thursday night too, and I was amazed that to hear how much better he was playing these days and how many new ideas he was coming up with. Cuz seriously, how much variety can one get out of one single drum? Quite a bit, apparently. And now, in the spirit of a summer night with no reason to get up early the following morning, Elihu is enthusiastically enjoying en extended practice.

Today the weather was just perfect with a late summer day’s breeze and softening sun. For me this is the time of year that evokes a certain sadness of things about to be gone by; although the daytimes are still distinctly made of summer, the evenings have a certain cool to them that signals the changes that are coming soon. Tonight, to the soundtrack of fireworks from a neighbor’s yard and the crickets in the nearby field, Elihu chased frogs and watched the goldfish in the diminishing light of day. The evenings now have grown too cool for shorts, so I wrapped myself in a long fleece bathrobe as I watched him play after we’d finished eating. Earlier, as I had made supper, I’d watched him from the kitchen window as he transported frogs from the creek to the new pond. To watch my son play as I cook or do the dishes is something I don’t take for granted; these are no doubt some of the tiny memories I will conjure decades from now when I can hardly remember ever having a young child.

But as the night grows later I begin to think about the school year that’s coming soon. It’s getting later than I’d realized. He’s finished with the drums now and has returned to his post at the pond. I wonder if I should call him in. Soon we’ll need to adjust his schedule back to reasonable bedtimes and super-early mornings. A late night like this makes me wonder if I’m being a negligent mom. But I have my reasons for allowing him this extended play… Given Eihu’s achromatopsia, I understand so well why it is that enjoys playing at night more than during the bright light of day. He’s finally free of those stupid sunglasses, finally able to see his world as it is. While I myself cannot tolerate the ubiquitous mosquitoes, for him it’s a price he’ll easily pay, for the reward is great. I however can’t give him my audience anymore on account of both the chill and the insects, so I leave him to his own. As I sit and write, he comes in every few minutes to update me. Now he’s rediscovered an old glider he’d made once out of foam core and cardstock. He’s rummaging around in the junk drawer to make some adjustments to its weight. He’s having luck with his project, so I’m still hesitant to put an end to it. But a few good tosses of his plane and I think I’ll have to get him in.

This has been another wonderful day. We might not remember all of it, but we’ll definitely take away a few late summer memories. If not for the acupuncture appointment that Elihu accompanied me to this morning, then maybe for the visit to a friend’s house that netted him a vintage helicopter toy. And if neither of those stick, at the very least today will have been one of many fine summer days that help to create the overall emotional shadow of a very happy time in his life. Yup, it’s been another very good day, and I think that now we can finally call it a night.

 

9 Responses to “Calling It A Day”

  1. Gene Burnett Says:

    Man…if he was a little older it would be fun to play him this song I wrote recently…I’m pretty nocturnal by nature and I’m also a bit light sensitive. I wear shades all year ’round…The song features a sweet finger picking backup to juxtapose the slightly harsher lyric. Feel free to delete this comment. ;~) GB

    Fuck The Sun by Gene Burnett (©2013)

    I sleep mostly when it’s light
    The day’s OK—I love the night
    Everything just feels so right
    Fuck the sun

    Gives you cancer—There’s no doubt
    Turns a flood into a drought
    Burns my skin and dries me out
    Fuck the sun

    OK maybe dusk and dawn
    But in between color me gone
    I’ll wait ‘til dark to mow the lawn
    Fuck the sun

    Maybe I’m just getting old
    But I’m preferring green to gold
    Apollo? I’ll put him on hold
    Fuck the sun

    Give me shadows—Give me shades
    Give me trees and lemonade
    Let’s just stay inside today and…
    Fuck the sun

    OK maybe Spring and Fall
    But in between I hit the wall
    Melts me like a big snowball
    Fuck the sun

    Hurts my eyes and hurts my head
    Makes me wish that I was dead
    I just want to stay in bed and…
    Fuck the sun

    Makes me weak and dizzy too
    Too hot to think—Too hot to screw
    Wake me when this shit is through
    Fuck the sun

    I sleep mostly when it’s light
    The day’s OK—I love the night
    Dracula and I are tight
    Fuck the sun

  2. Gene Burnett Says:

    This one’s on the same theme but nicer. I was videoing a solar eclipse through a piece of plastic and thought it would go well with this song.

    • Eric Says:

      Hello, Gene. “The Shades Stay On” is a beautiful song. I also watched the video of you at the Grass Shack, playing that song live. You are doing some good work. I’ll have to listen to more of your songs. Take care, and keep on singing.

      About the sun, I make a point of wearing a hat, shades and sunscreen. I used to lament that I couldn’t tan very well, and now I get very red with only a little bit of sun, and so now ironically, I avoid direct sunlight when I used to seek it out. While starting this, I listened to “The Last In Line”, and now I’m hearing “To You”.

      Sorry to not address you first, Liz, but here goes, now- I also get a tinge of late sumer blues, so your post resonated with me, too. I love the fall and winter, but there’s something that makes me want to linger with the summer’s last long days and warm weather, and of course the green leaves of trees. My kids are going back to school tomorrow, at a High School named after an astronaut (I don’t know if that means anything, but I thought I’d throw that in, just in case), and they seem to be taking it all in stride, which makes it all right. Summer is good, but the changing of seasons is good, too. It’s good that your son is back, and that things are getting back to normal. I hope that all goes well with you.

      • Gene Burnett Says:

        Thanks very much Eric. Much appreciated. All of my music is available for downloading free or with a donation at http://www.GeneBurnett.com Your kind words are donation enough, please take whatever you want. GB

      • wingmother Says:

        Thanks Eric. All is just fine over here. Thankfully still a couple more weeks til school, but some leaves are already falling… here we go…

  3. Lindy A. Says:

    The tone of your day reminds me of “Dandelion WIne” by Ray Bradbury. Have you read it?


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