Monday, September 14, 2009

the didgeridoo and the buddha

There comes a point in the lives of identical twins where they choose to live separately. My twins are 22. They have always lived together, at home, at their first apartment, and so on, often sharing a room even when given the choice of separate rooms. When they decided a few months ago that they would have separate apartments for their last year of undergraduate college, I was a little surprised. Last week they started the bro-vorce process. Who gets what? Whose books are these? Which DVD is mine? The funniest moment was when we were standing in the driveway and sorting through all of the clean clothes. I am guessing that two brothers don't usually stand in the street sorting boxers and arguing over the only pair of black socks. It was pretty funny!  It's a twin thing. 

They have split things amicably, although two unassigned things remained, the didgeridoo and the buddha. The didgeridoo is from their sister when she volunteered in Australia last summer. At the time they thought it would be fine to share... no need to buy two. And the buddha statue has been around awhile, too. I don't even know who gave them the buddha, but it is pretty cool. So they decided in the dude-vorce to split custody. One has the buddha. The other has the didgeridoo. They are going to meet in the middle and swap now and again. It made me proud as a mom to know that they were each being sensitive to each other in these last few weeks. It's as if they each intuitively knew how the other was feeling. Of course they knew. Why didn't I think of that? They have spent two decades knowing what each other was feeling, thinking, and doing.

I asked one brother today how he was feeling about this new situation. He said, "I have seen my brother every day. He is only a block away, Mom. Don't worry." Then I asked the other brother how he was feeling. He said, "Mom, don't worry. I see my brother every day. He only lives a block from here." I guess hearing it in duplicate is all I needed. Like most things in their lives, if I heard the same thing from both, I felt like it was settled. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

the writer's spaz

I have heard people talk about writer's block. But I have never experienced it. I actually experience what I call-- the writer's spaz. I have too much to write about. I have too many opinions. Today I want to write about health care reform, bulging taxes, kids in college, the cost of dog food, my frustration with a wayward adult child, the latest book I read, a trip to see The Addams Family on Broadway, the economy, the child left unattended in the neighborhood, and my photo archiving project. Mostly I keep lists of all of the writing prompts and ideas. I am highly organized in my approach. And I am a terrific archivist-- not the typical scattered writer.

My spastic writing accelerates as a result of two important anniversaries approaching. My wedding anniversary with my first husband and my kids' father, and then two weeks later the anniversary of his death. Those few weeks in mid-September and early October are difficult for me. Perhaps if I write about that a bit earlier than usual this year, I will help me to refocus on the other things happening around me. It's complicated grief. When he left, we divorced, he remarried, and he died all in a timespan of months, it sent me into an arena of grief that most people do not experience. It is a form of illegitimate grief. Most people think that my love for him should be replaced with anger or apathy. Most people think that the betrayal should instantly end my love. It didn't happen that way for me. I do not stop loving instantly after 20 years of loving continuously and completely. I owe my children a complete picture of their father, not one jaded by some months at the end. I am promising myself a longer period of reflection this year. I am also promising myself some time to take photos in the park and ride my bike. And I am giving myself the grace to get through the next 30 days one day at a time.