The hottest days of the summer so far have been in September – weird. The last two have been brutal. Yesterday I rode my bike across town – almost safely all the way, on the bike trail along the waterfront – to meet Anna and the boys by Summerside Pool for a swim. But it was incredibly crowded with a lineup at the door, so we picnicked under a tree instead. Not quite as good.
It hurts to watch my grandson figure out his life. He has been wounded, no question – his beloved mother, with whom he was joined at the hip, is now joined to someone else, tired and impatient just when he wants to hang onto her with every bit of strength he has. He has phenomenal energy and is bouncing off the walls when she wants him to be quiet and not disturb the baby. This is a scene that has played out in families countless times, but still, it pains me to watch a boy I love so much going through it. He is so like his mother, stubborn, contrary and social. I remember at this stage, when her brother was a newborn, she was at a nursery school, and one day I left the baby with someone and went to pick her up. She was in the playground and did not want to leave. “But we have to,” I said. She turned and appraised me coolly. “You think you’re so great,” she said. She was three! I knew I was in big trouble. And now her son is the same kind of fierce, feisty, rambunctious child, only with four times the physical energy.
He spilled milk all over his pants in a restaurant. This person is 3 1/4. Doesn’t he look like 29, only with no pants, to you?
Today’s excitement: picking tons of beans and tomatoes:
and making a delicious dish with onions, garlic, white wine, basil:
My own veggies! Very proud.
Speaking of proud – well, I printed out and read the memoir so far. And once again, I have to say there’s something there. 61,000 words, for a start. Lots more to be done, but I did manage to carve out time this busy summer. Work starts this week, but I’ll still be able to do some writing until things really go nuts in October. Oh I love it so, the mulling, fiddling, reading, pondering, adding, subtracting. Maybe, as my friend Chris pointed out, all this work will amount to almost no remuneration again. I just got out of the library a beautiful, massive book about my favourite Canadian artist David Milne – Painting Place, by David Silcox. Milne painted all his life and barely made enough to live on, worried about money constantly. So I’m in good company.
Have been watching TV as research – CNN’s terrific series on the Seventies and last night a documentary about Jean Vanier’s L’Arche, both important for my book. I’ve entered the obsessive phase; everything is linked somehow to the current project. Tonight – if I can make it to 11.30 – Stephen Colbert’s first show! I have so missed Jon Stewart – but at the same time, it has been something of a relief not to confront the idiocies of the planet, especially the American planet, on a daily basis.
Finally – I promise I’ll stop. But could not resist this pic.
Macca with one of his grandchildren. I know just how he feels.