I do wonder how much dog hair and dust I’ve ingested in the last almost two years of Scout living with me. I didn’t put a lot of thought into it until I happened to look across the surface of the black leather couch and sleeper ottoman when the sun hit it just right. The dust and dog hair appeared like a beacon of frustration – it’s here for life. The dust out here is eternal, it sifts in when you open doors, when the wind blows it through an old window casing, on Scout’s coat and paws, and on me because I dig in the dirt a lot. The dog hair? As long as I have a dog it will be here. Maybe the extra protein helps me get my daily dose.
And the dust from another year of life is rapidly moving off into history as 2012 moves closer to its final day.
Some of the dust that piles up is just life left undone. My thoughts hit tasks I have to do – some of it actually gets done – the rest of it gets tucked away until my thought hits it again and then sometimes it actually gets kicked up the ladder until it becomes a ‘do it now’ thing and I get it done. I couldn’t even begin to list all the things I want to do – around the property, the house, writing, travel, poker play, family, and more – so I shuffle it all off to be hidden away so I don’t stress over something I couldn’t accomplish in one easy step unless I had a magic wand. I just checked…I don’t have one.
My last few days in 2012 are shared with Riot who is here to spend two weeks with me if I can stand the noise and mayhem. Trying to describe him would take weeks. He’s a child that received all of his emotional growth from a torn household with a lot of fighting and distress and even though his living circumstances have changed, he’s just in a new address with more of the same problems because he now lives in a household with three couples, single momparental, a nephew that is three years old, seven or eight dogs, three cats, three aquariums…I think that covers it.
Somewhere out of all the confusion and stress this eight-year old survives, he’s trying to grow up. He has a severe crush on a girl in his third grade class that has been ongoing since second grade. He’s watched too much graphic slop in movies and on TV in a daily dose and picks up a lot of the garbage from there – like Michael Jackson and others grabbing their crotch and holding on to it while they dance. BTW…Mr. Riot is an incredible dancer. He’s also an incredible gamer…blame part of that on me because we do ‘game out’ when he spends time with me. We love Donkey Kong, Super Mario, and other games that we play on the Wii and we play, play, play. He’s also allowed to play computer games on my other pc and hits miniclips.com along with a few others.
He loves to talk poop, farts, peeing, and other things that get on my nerves. I don’t remember my three boys ever doing that when they were little but I worked part of their young lives and they were with a sitter part of the time. I have talked to other people, including a school teacher that said that’s all the boys in her third grade class talked about. POOP! Kee-rist!
Now and then he comes up with something that took a lot of thought on his part and shows more spiritual growth than most adults will ever know.
As a general rule, we do have a great time together. We take Scout to the desert for hikes, he rides his dirt bike around the property and I do some yard work so I can watch him and applaud the dust ‘tornados’ he makes. He’s smart mouthed, smart assed, cute, has moments of remorseful thought and apologizes for something he knows was wrong, and can be incredibly, sarcastically funny.
Yesterday morning he got up with a long face, and was extremely quiet (Quiet Riot he is not!) and it didn’t change. His usual is a happy, smiling face when he gets up and he just winds up from there. But not yesterday. He was at the computer right next to me. I gave him fruit to start his day before breakfast, got my coffee and started reading through some work that needed to be done. I finally grilled him on his long face, “Come on. This isn’t like you. What’s wrong?”
With a completely downcast, firmly demanding, straight face, “I want a cup of coffee.”
I said, “No.”
He said, “OK, I’m going to be like this all day and you’re the one that’s going to have to deal with it.”
OMG! We managed to escape the blue funk and get on with the day but I can’t help but smile every time I think of his matter-of-fact bullshit comment.
He simply never shuts up unless he’s asleep. It can be a “bric-a-bracca” chant over nothing that goes on and on or a scream out of nowhere as if the world blew up in his face, his favorite dinosaur died, or a higher pitch to the chant, but it’s endless. I, at times, do not handle noise well, especially when it’s repetitive and nonstop.
I told him recently that if he was ever out here and I didn’t wake up when he came into my bedroom, he should run over to my sis’s place and tell her I needed help. He said, “Gramma, why don’t I just throw water in your face? That usually wakes everybody up.”
Of course he was right. And while I don’t expect to die in my sleep for quite a number of years, I believe it’s best for kids to know how to handle emergencies. He does know how to use the phone and he talks calling “911″ off and on like it was an everyday occurrence because it happens at home.
He’s extremely intelligent, incredibly mechanically dexterous, very artistic, and gets into the depth of life when you’d least expect it. He’s led me on many a magical trip as we race back through a tangle of mesquites from our desert walk where he taps out a code that lets us through and then closes it behind us to keep the Dracula king, the yetis, the goblins, the trolls, and everything else off our trail. He finds instant beauty in a gnarled, weathered branch from a mesquite or a weed; they are all his weapons as he fights us out and back from our trek through the invisible hoard. He knows spells that rip and shred the beasts that try to keep us from making it back alive and he teaches them to me – although they are spoken in “bric-a-bracca” and I could never remember them.
At times when he comes out to spend the weekend with me, it only takes a few hours to tire of the noise and chatter because it’s filled with goofy faces, nonstop gab, and asking him to quit only makes it worse. He laughs. He smirks. He continues with his nonsensical crap because he knows it strikes a nerve…after all…that’s what everyone does at home. He does accept ‘time-out’ without an argument and that’s where he ends up if it becomes too insane.
Part of the problem is me. I’m a weak link in the chain of parental control because grandparents want to play too, the hell with being a parent. I doubt seriously that he’s much different from other kids except, perhaps, he’s much more vocally oriented but I believe that’s his way of blocking out unpleasantness and tuning out what he doesn’t want to hear. And I also believe he laughs when someone gets upset because it’s the only way he knows how to deal with it.
I’ve barely touched the surface of what vibrates around in this 75 pound body known as Riot. He’ll be nine years old in April. In the next few years he’ll be way too busy to spend time with me. I brought that up about six months ago.
“In a few years you’ll be so busy with your friends at school that you won’t come out to spend a weekend with me. I’ll call and ask if you want to come out and you’ll tell me you have something planned with your friends. I’m really going to miss these times when you get older.”
“Don’t worry Gramma, I’ll text you.”
Oh my! Of course I laughed.
When that happens I’ll be left alone to fight off all the monsters that chase me back from the desert by myself, my heart will remember the little boy that was nonstop talk and continual motion, and wish for the day that the dust of time didn’t find a way in.