August 10, 2009

Lights, Camera...Action

It was in my brother's apartment, crowded with boxes and baby toys but minus any furniture. He was unpacking a microwave and new sets of dishes, tearing away plastic and forming a large pile of trash on the floor. I was holding my niece, talking her into a bottle. I looked up at him, a 21 year old kid. "Dude. This domesticity is weird." He didn't laugh me off. "Yeah. I know what you mean."

Here we were, in his new place. His girlfriend was at work, and he was Mr. Mom for the day. I watched him kiss Becca's cheek, ducking behind toys to make her laugh. It is so unlike the boy I grew up with, yet he slid into his role so easily, seemingly without effort.

I've made an almost effortless transition, too. There was a moment where I faltered for a second. As Sky stirred ziti noodles in the hot water, the heat from the kitchen and the realization of where I was began to sink in. After a meal was actually eaten at the dining room table and the dishes were carried back down the hall to the sink, I went outside to the steps for a second. The cool air hit my face and I breathed in as deeply as I could, and sat still. He fit in so well. He acted as if he'd cooked for decades. I felt like a little kid trying to act a part. It was pitiful.

But then I thought about the bigger picture. He is here. I hug him before I leave for work. We talk in the dark about serious plans or about nothing at all. We talk about where we need to go or what we need to get at the store. This is perfection. This is what I've always wanted without knowing I wanted it.

So I got up from the steps and got over the fact that I can't tell when the noodles are al dente. And though his first meal was exactly what I'd order from a restaurant, mine was burnt grilled cheese and tomato soup. The thing is, neither of us will remember it, or if we do, it was be laughed over. Practice makes perfect. Or perfection encourages practice. Either way, Sky is here.

By the end of the day at my brother's place, I realized that he wasn't acting out a role- he was genuinely grown up a bit. Turns out, maybe I'm growing a bit, too. I am finding out that routines can be comfortable, but in their own thrilling ways. I ache for the clock to hit 5:15 so I can run to my car and up the stairs to him. Lunches are wonderful. Late night talks are even better. Feeling so sleepily secure and so wide-eyed in love doesn't really make sense to me, but I don't care if I ever figure it out. It just feels right.

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