monday, nineteen july: nine of pentacles
The guidebook says that the nine of pentacles represents a “happy, healthy home” and the result of loyal hard work and dedication. Worked at that, haven’t we? I was talking about this with a friend a week or two ago, how sometimes it feels like the great work of adulthood is learning to live differently from how you were raised. I think about this often–my mother’s narrative is one of fear, which manifests as anger or anxiety or any number of things. With my own child, I hear that voice so often. He comes and sits next to me at the playground, leans against my side or flops across my lap, and I put an arm across him while the voice in my head says, oh, I would die if anything happened to you. But I don’t say it out loud. Growing up with my mother meant growing up listening to a stream-of-consciousness narration of all the things that could go wrong. So I live with that narrator whispering in my head, but I’m not putting that voice in his head. It’s all I can do.
(Declan thinks it’s funny. She says we can’t leave his toys in the yard because someone will know a child lives here and they’ll come kidnap him, and he laughs. She says he can’t sleep near the window in case he falls out. Of a closed bedroom window. He thinks that’s hilarious. It’s not that my child has no fears and anxieties, he just doesn’t have my mother’s.)
On a more prosaic note, the “expedition every day” model for the summer doesn’t leave a lot of time for the boring necessities, so today is just “let’s do a lot of errands” day. Dragging Declan along, maybe we’ll try to make it a train day, ride a few extra subway lines just for fun, find somewhere fun to eat lunch. (If we’re venturing out into Manhattan at all, I often want to eat at Pret, but then Declan just ends up doing a “fruit cup and chips” lunch again, which is not exactly a-plus parenting. We make compromises.)