Getting out the door this morning felt like climbing a mountain in Nepal. The benefactor woke the younger children, who wanted nothing more than to languish in bed on a cool, fall morning. It took several prompts to rouse them from their dreams. It then took patience to help the children find appropriate clothing, which they were asked to do the evening before, yet ignored the benefactor’s simple request.
The elder male work exceptionally early to merely dumped the benefactor’s fresh laundry into a wrinkled pile so that he could finish his own. Repeatedly, the elder children have been asked to properly fold garments when they wish to use the laundry machines and must remove others’ clothing. Repeatedly, they do not do this, which ends in repetitive frustration and fury for the benefactor. After seeing the laundry haphazardly splayed in a basket, the benefactor marched upstairs and knocked incessantly on the elder male’s open door, whilst he lies in bed pretending he did not hear her. Finally, she heaved a jingle bell in his direction, which prompted him to sit up, acting as if he had not noticed the continuous rapping for the past several minutes (she has heard him complain easily when lesser sounds are created). She reminded him of his responsibility, while he argued that he was seeking additional sleep. The benefactor then issued the ultimatum that should the clothes remain uncared for, he would be forced to carry his laundry and pay to clean them elsewhere. She knew he would have plenty of time, as he often spends a chunk of minutes sitting in front of the media box prior to school.
After finally piling the younger offspring into the transportation machine and beginning their journey, the younger male realized that he had forgotten his instrument at home, and having band instruction this morning, would likely be heavily penalized. The benefactor, not happy with such circumstances of irresponsibility, reversed their trail and returned to retrieve the clarinet. However, seeing as how the younger male is merely ten, she assured him that mistakes happen, although he needed to make a greater effort in the future toward remembering his essentials for his educational day.
After school, while the younger female partook in vocal lessons, the younger male and benefactor traveled home to finish some work. As the benefactor did calisthenics, the younger male skulked around the kitchen, opening doors and continually attempting to sneak various treats under the benefactor’s watchful eye. Finally, she consented to him eating some specialty crackers, with the promise he would still enjoy his evening meal.
They picked up the younger female, and returned to their abode to have repast. The younger male ensured the benefactor he was VERY hungry. She served them, and they sat and chatted about the day’s activities. Four bites into his meal, the younger male suddenly became full. He claimed it was due to the hearty nature of the meal, but the benefactor was 100% sure it was all the snacks he likely acquired with stealth.
In the evening, the children decorated for the upcoming festival of Hallow’s Eve. ‘Decorated’ was, at first, a loose term, as they spent 40 minutes barely sifting through the supplies while maintaining eye contact with the media box. Finally, the benefactor put their watching on pause, so that they could focus on the task at hand. With clarity, they threw themselves into making the table a festive display of all things spooky, which made all their hearts happy.
Twas a difficult couple of days for the benefactor and her elder offspring. Communication was subpar, and many a disagreement erupted over responsibilities and actions. It stressful for all involved. The end of the weekend finally seemed to bring an element of relief, and a neutral place for all parties to finally, begrudgingly, begin to agree on select terms.
Topics on hand for these negotiations:
All of these, were indeed, valid issues to be discussed. Deliberations were intense. There were moments of conciliation, and moments of staunch blame directed at anyone but the person who should shoulder said blame. Yet, in the end, a tacit agreement to do better was reached for all those involved, including some very clear directives on who was responsible for certain chores.
Sunday, after much debate and arguing, the younger progeny finally allowed the benefactor to prepare a late afternoon meal for their benefit. The younger male adamantly argued against the benefactor’s choice of meal, with the younger female simply agreeing with him to follow along. With them occupied in separate quarters, the meal preparation was much more fluid and peaceful. In the end, when sitting down to nourishment, the younger male heaped praise on the benefactor for her delicious, vegetarian chili, as she suspected he would. After eating, they finally settled into a quiet calm, sitting and partaking in a media box moving picture about a comic Captain named after his unmentionables. Great fun was had by both.
On Monday, the benefactor again had the younger progeny at her employment in the afternoon, being spared the morning shift. Per usual, they immediately began half-bickering, half-drilling the benefactor with questions upon their arrival. Finally, in the office space, the children were directed to activities that would occupy their imagination and time, namely reading and assignments. This allowed them to settle and quiet at last, so that the benefactor, too, could work. Still, it was a lengthy few hours to entertain their sprightly and active souls, and eventually their chattering selves could no longer remain still nor quiet. They spread out amongst the office space, concocting daydreams and imaginations. Despite the chatter, the benefactor was grateful for their mutual occupation, and secretly enjoyed listening to their inventiveness in the background.
Yesterday, after a day of servitude, the benefactor acquired the younger children from their day of instruction, and they made their way to the general store to gather some supplies. As usual, the younger male asked at every turn if the benefactor would purchase him something, anything really, to which she repetitively, like a broken vinyl, answered no. It has become a game where he lies in wait in the off chance the benefactor gets so perturbed that she says yes just to silence his requests.
On the other hand, the younger female was her sweetest self, first complimenting the benefactor on her style of dress, then her hair, and then her shoes. Finally, she just sighed and told the benefactor that she was just perfect. The benefactor enveloped her small body in her arms. She warmed the benefactor’s heart immensely and made the experience of shopping a pleasure for once.
Whence they arrived home, the children were and the youngest male began to build with his plastic blocks, creating three different ships over the next two hours. The younger female remembered that the benefactor had promised to paint with her. Although the benefactor was tired, the younger female would have no excuses, and insisted that they make art. Slowly they gathered their canvases, paints, brushes, easels, and palettes. The two went outside in the cool autumn night and began to create. The younger female painted a gorgeous, pink pumpkin, while the benefactor made a more complex, abstract piece based on women’s rights. It was lovely bonding.
The elder children meanwhile, were entrenched in various scandals and drama, which they hurled at the benefactor in choppy storytelling. It was all she could do to keep up. Then they both went their separate ways to communicate with their acquaintances all the different gossip and problems of the day.
The benefactor ushered the younger female up to bed, reading a story and tucking her in close. Not soon after, the younger male followed. He wanted to know what the benefactor’s painting stood for. When she told him it represented the ways that patriarchy damage the spirit of women, he sat thoughtful for a second, then said, ‘okay’, and closed his eyes. Hopefully his dreams will be filled of ways that he will grow into a feminist.
Today, the children were eager to do absolutely nothing. They arrived home in the evening, stripping off their uniforms and then lounged in the living room, only half dressed. The benefactor prepared a meal, and they ate quietly as the benefactor painted. They then found enough momentum to argue over the media box, until the benefactor stepped in and decided for them watch would be their entertainment.
Whence it was time for bed, and the benefactor had finished her art, the younger female came up to her and said, “It reminds me of my heart. When I love, my heart just shines from the inside.” And the benefactor’s heart melted into a pool of nondescript adoration on the spot.
Earlier this week, the children accompanied the benefactor to work out of necessity. The younger male woke early, excited by the prospect of a day spent watching the portable, media box, and doing a lot of nothing. The younger female, on the other hand, did not have a gentle entrance into the morning, spontaneously crying as she had to dress.
When they arrived at the benefactor’s employment, the children took over her space, as they are wont to do. As the benefactor was late for a staff gathering, the children were left to their own devices, hopefully to read. Part miracle, they only attempted communication with the benefactor once, when she was already returning. However, upon arriving, the benefactor was informed by the younger male that his sibling had begun threatening his life, for which she cried and apologized. Apparently, during active play, the younger male ripped her stuffed lobster in three different locations, a very upsetting event. Although he apologized, she was not satisfied with his response, and felt it necessary to plot physical harm.
During the afternoon meal, the benefactor took them to the medical dining hall to acquire sustenance. Both decided that they desired flatbread with cheese. Of course, the younger male selected the last piece decorated with pepperoni, and the younger female was unhappy that she was stuck with a mere, plain option. While eating, the younger male incited a game of ‘burns’ where he creates insults meant to be amusing, despite being told repeatedly to not engage in this behavior. It therefore gave the benefactor delight when the younger female successfully managed to utter a line that bested the younger male’s efforts, leaving him to sit in silence: “you are so fat, cows walk away from you”.
That evening, the children plotted telepathically to unnerve the benefactor, beginning with the younger male refusing to listen when being asked to help with certain tasks, or eating his evening repast. Slowly, the irritation fanned as the benefactor, attempting to gather the younger children for bed, had to contend with the elder children exploding with fits of laughter, which only fueled the antics of the younger children. Twasn’t until the benefactor finally elevated her voice to a level of seriousness that the children finally fell silent, and meagerly agreed to listen.
After putting the younger children to bed, the elder male and benefactor had an in-depth conversation about electromagnetic waves, and how they are a part of our daily lives, which was part of his educational studies. Specifically, he was surprised by the number of people who did not realize that a microwave was powered by such energy. It was then brought to the benefactor’s attention by the elder female that she had never known how the appliance worked, simply believing that food heated itself when put in the magic box.
The next morning, the air was frigid from the season’s first frost, the moving vehicle covered in matted, white crystal. Trying to be helpful, the younger male planted himself at the windows, rubbing the frozen water with the sleeve of his winter coat. Too tired to argue so early in the morning, the benefactor merely elevated the heat source, and let him feel accomplished, as she and the younger female rested comfortably in the car.
Today the benefactor became increasingly frustrated with most of the children. Each, in their own way and at separate times, had determined that this should be a day of rebellion. The elder male felt slighted that he was asked to assist with extra chores in exchange for permission to be a guest at an acquaintance’s home. This was followed by the elder female, who became upset that the benefactor, having made the same requests a multitude of times, was frustrated in voice and tone. This led to calling the benefactor a name that perhaps should never be uttered if the elder female desires to live (rhyming with ‘itch’). Then the younger male complained, as he is wont to do on a daily basis, about having any sort of chore responsibility in any form or fashion. He then attempted to eat both chocolate and cookies, insisting that since he brought them with them, he should be able to ingest them at any given point. This led to his first trip to his bedroom for reflective time. Only the youngest female did what she was asked with openness and nary a side eye. However, she became distraught later in the morning whence she felt her throat was ill, and her carefully prepared tea had not yet cooled to the proper temperature.
In order to maintain any semblance of sanity, the benefactor busied herself in the kitchen, cooking a delightful dinner, as well as a variety of baked goods for the children. She served the special meal with gusto, hoping for some semblance of contentment. The youngest female dilly dallied, almost refusing to try part of the dish simply due to its appearance. Meanwhile, her sibling, under the guise of getting water, abandoned his dinner to tear hunks of the benefactor’s beautiful, baked bread by hand and stuff it in his mouth, caught by the elder female. This landed him in his second retreat to his bedroom for the day. Surprisingly, the elder female ate happily and without complaint, actually gracing the others with her usually invisible presence.
After some time had passed, the younger male approached the benefactor with apology, and asked if he may assist with making a new batch of bread to replace that which he had tarnished. The benefactor enveloped him in a hug and agreed that sometime this week he could be her helper.
The elder female has primarily been ill, having acquired some form of infection from her schoolmates. She forgot to inform the benefactor that she would be staying home today, which caused alarm when her place of education called the benefactor inquiring about the lack of her presence. Later, she communicated to the benefactor excitement that she found a moving picture about vampires that she did not know they owned. The benefactor reminded her that it was, in fact, a holiday gift for the elder female from three years ago, of which the elder female had no recollection. Hopefully the elder female’s excitement will help her health so she may return to regular life sooner than later.
This week has been a rollercoaster for all of us, navigating the ebb and flow of the days. It has been frustrating for the benefactor, who has often felt as if she speaks to ghosts. Apparently, only the youngest female can see her. On multiple occasions, she has asked for the children to complete specific chores, only to have them stare at her in a blank stupor, as if she asked them to perform high level arithmetic in their head while balancing on one foot. The result is a never-ending litany of requests that go unanswered until the benefactor rightly becomes vexed. In particular, it drives her mad when the elder children leave piles of washed and dried laundry on top of the machines, allowing it to sit quietly in the dark, for weeks. At last count, she reminded the elder female to remove her clothes 7 times. Then, when she perhaps asks in a tone that is less than congenial, she is brazenly asked to ‘chill’. It makes the benefactor ponder if the elder children, specifically, truly desire a shorter life. On the other hand, the younger female is still untainted by such apathy. Generally, she eagerly helps, going above and beyond, such as bravely emptying her brother’s pants pockets to assist with the wash. However, she even revolted this week, highly upset that the benefactor had the gall to separate her socks before washing them, as she had to sift through clothes to find them right before she prepared to leave for school.
Yet not all is lost. The younger male brought the benefactor a gift of picked flowers, all his own motivation. She was quite touched by the gesture. Sensing her possible ascent to full fury, the elder male also provided sweet overtures, buying the benefactor a specialized holiday wine flute, and building her a fire. The thoughtfulness was only slightly complicated by the fact that he still builds fires improperly, with paper placed under wood in flat sheets, and large chunks of burning ash were carried into the air, at which point the benefactor reminded him his method is not safe when living in the desert. Again, for the third or fourth time (she’s lost count), she demonstrated how the fire was to be created so as not to burn down their surroundings. However, she appreciated the kindness and thought that came from the elder male’s heart, which, in the end, matters most.
Ahh, the chill of the air and crisp blue sky indicated that autumn descended with a whoosh. To celebrate, the benefactor planned to trip into the forest to examine the metallic, shivering leaves of the Aspen trees. While the benefactor readied ingredients for the evening’s dinner, we were asked to organize ourselves and make sure we were appropriately dressed. Apparently, even this was asking too much, as one of us forgot a jacket, and we left our home 45 minutes later than our original time of departure for no good reason, the benefactor gathering only 3 out of the 4 of us at any given time.
The drive through the mountains was glorious, the trees putting on a fantastic show of fall gold. After a slight argument between the benefactor and the eldest female regarding who should control the musical content for the journey (the benefactor thought it best to just concede for the moment), the trip proceeded smoothly to the ski basin.
Once there, the elder children convinced the benefactor that perhaps they should go on a short hike to an aspen meadow. Even though the initial descent from the road worried the younger children, the benefactor consented, and they made their made into the forest. Not having spent a comfortable amount of time with nature, the youngest female was thoroughly convinced that she was: A. Going to die, and that B. This would happen at the hands of a bear. Every twinging or cracking branch was a signal that eminent danger approached. The elder children did not help by telling her that should a bear approach, they would sit her and the younger male on their shoulders to make themselves appear larger while hoping for the best. It calmed no one.
As was his habit, the younger male complained nonstop, mumbling how the elder children kept dangling them with the prospect of the meadow being, ‘very close’. He also was very concerned with his brand new, white sneakers that were now sloshing through damp ground. However, after thirty minutes of trampling through the woods off trail, the benefactor began to understand and commiserate with his frustration. The younger male also kept stopping to gather objects, pawning them off for the benefactor to carry as his parting gifts for home, including bark from a tree hit by lightning, moss, a plant resembling bamboo, and a large salt stone. Eventually she had to put her foot down and declare that no more would be taken, as she had run out of arm space.
Finally, after what seemed like an endless journey, the benefactor and children crossed over into what was simply a sublime, uninhibited, and beautiful blank field surrounded by Aspens. They posed for photos and picked flowers. Eventually, as they always do, the males ended up in a javelin contest, throwing the younger male’s sharp walking stick through the air at each other. Whence the benefactor gave them the stare of certain death, they finally ceased. She was more frightening than the possibility of a bear.
The younger children finally seemed at ease with their surroundings, until a raspy sound from a bush triggered them to fear a potential rattlesnake. They did not take solace in the fact that the sound did not return, nor that the elder female was almost certain the noise was given off by a nearby bird.
While hiking back, the younger female became the only casualty of the day, losing her balance on the rocks, and then later tripping over a stick. With the second, the benefactor merely held her in her arms and told her to cry until she felt ready to walk. After several minutes, she dried her tears, put on a look of determination, and pretty much forgot she was injured.
The only contentious moment came when they reached the car and realized they would not have time to explore the ski basin, which for the younger children strictly meant scavenging for food. Only after the benefactor swore to stop by their favorite general store to gather some light snacks did they finally agree to get into the car. Ten minutes into the drive they were fast asleep.
Arriving home, after obtaining their favorite nibbles, the children gathered around the media box to relax as the benefactor curled up outside in warm blankets upon her soft hammock to read. She reflected on the beauty of the day, and how blessed they were to live in such a pulchritudinous environment. She inhaled the scent of fall’s sweet surrender, and felt her heart expand as high as the sky.