I don't even think about my collarbone. How dare it age on me? I drink my milk. I don't flash it in daring, fashionable revelation. And yet the disadvantage of time called me to attention in less than three days. But not three regular days of just sitting around typing, napping or watching Wheel of Fortune.
At first, I thought the pain was not a "good' pain, the maybe I should tell someone just in case pain. I took some Tylenol and hit the pillow. And now, a week later, I still have occasional discomfort. I have learned my sixteen year old mind is attached to a little bit older physical body. Helping Cate and Finn move was physically taxing but necessary work.
We all learned that the mover doesn't have to show up on a cold, drizzly February day if there might be any chance of precipitation. But we are over that stress. And maybe there wasn't a lot of job security involved when you know the movees will be thrilled with the next day - On the next day, the day after the Super Bowl, I failed to ask the movers if they were happy with the outcome. We were too blitzed to even watch the last ten minutes. Go Team!
I have learned that by the end of my visit I am just beginning to tolerate going up the stairs from the street to the front door. Eight or ten. A person could eventually accomplish the up part. But the down part still leaves me hunched over like Old Mother Hubbard looking for her cane. Which makes it hard for me to carry boxes down to the car. But we now have new front steps that are manageable. And new basement stairs.
I call them Reagan Planes. When I wake up early in the morning and the totally dark curtains have a faint piping of earliest light, I can hear the beginning of the day as the planes begin to fly in and out of my Capitol city. For the rest of the day, I might notice one or two others.
This wasn't a plane. I had an armload and was getting ready to head up three steps at the new house. But I hesitated curbside and looked up at the noise which caught my attention. Loud and so low, I wondered if they were looking down on me looking up. Three Black Hawk helicopters in a row with another large helicopter at the rear. Major military might going right over my head. Impressive. I could see that.
I have seen every President in my lifetime except for Eisenhower and Ford. And on this afternoon, I learned I was most likely watching Trump in escort to a function. According to my experts. I will take that sighting as my best ever Presidential flyover in my Presidential check off column.
A homeless man of sturdy stature carrying/pushing two large bags through the cafe where we are eating hamburgers. He is getting a large coffee with cream. It is cold outside and I can't imagine how it feels to sit or sleep outdoors. An employee brings the man a hamburger basket piled with french fries. I think maybe I should go buy the man more food. He is nice-looking and not eroded from a long life on the streets. But he looks different. He goes outside to a table and writes in a small notebook. I don't know what I have to offer him. I haven't learned this part. Later, Finn tells me the man paid with a card. Maybe I could carry a few pre-paid credit cards for this situation. In the middle of the night, when I wake up, I think about that man sleeping in the cold.
I have learned that you can lose your boarding pass but not your cool while the TSA agent is nothing but nice. Of course, no one was in line, thankfully, while you pull little receipts out of your crossover bag and lipstick and a credit card and the "pill" tin and the phone and take the suggestion to go print another one. Never in my life does happen. And away from the stress of the TSA, another perusal turns up my boarding pass in the possession of my cool and collected traveling companion. Ha. Ha. Ha.
I have learned how well we train Navy Intelligence Officers and their canny abilities even in retirement. He told me about Polish City Chicken and Michigan and Cast Iron Skillets. What did I not tell him? He was very pleasant.
I have learned that 4,000 miles in one month is alot of travel. And trying to do life in the between of washing and packing and bill paying and participating in my two favorite groups and learning a new phone and entertaining and beautifying and dealing.
Learning not to have throw down, screaming fits when the Internet and the refrigerator both glitch out not totally but sporadically because the final curtain is always so much better and definite than maybe or maybe not milk will be cold when you pick up the Fire to read the blank page of a book that expires in 3 days on 43% read. For almost two weeks in the middle of the coming and the going. In progress.
But most of all, I've learned children grow up. And thank goodness, they have figured alot of stuff out. Not everything but plenty enough to go there and through without you, when necessary. Because you have to remember how much you knew when you were their age. How fresh the world seemed and new products could be mastered and new stuff actually anticipated just for the newness.
There is much they still don't know but they don't know they need it, yet. But thankfully, they still know they need you and they are getting to an age when it's okay to finally admit they always did and always will.
I have learned they are really physically stronger and even their corrected vision might view better, those new eyes. Those new views on the future and where they are and where they will go. They are only beginning but theirs' is so much and so long in front of them. They are not afraid of change because they haven't lived long enough for much. So they change without a big deal.
Their collarbones won't hurt for a long time. Hopefully, with blessing and bidding, they will fly through relatively unscathed. But even then I have learned and I have seen, shoulders hoisting boxes and running up and down stairs in the coldest night air. Strength for days just because. Problems solved. Love and forgiveness. Two sheltering three. Solid.