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Class was today. Late, me, because I'd been bound and determined to get decent brushes for the decoration I'm doing on my tea bowls.

I had eight porcelain tea bowls, a saki set, and various altered vases to trim and decorate before the bisque firing. And the residents had emptied the gas kiln, so eight of my teabowls from that process were waiting for me. I piled them up in front of my workspace and went to town on the porcelain. Everyone was touching the finished tea bowls. They really liked the bowls. One woman even stacked them up so they made a sort of totem of tea.

My teacher is pretty chill, and I like her personally, but our styles are very different. That being said, next week, we're going to put together some tea pots. I decided it's about time I started making complex forms again. On Friday, I'll throw some bodies and spouts, maybe pull a few handles, and see what we can make of it all next Wednesday.

I was late leaving class, and the director of the ceramics department came in, saw my pile o bowls, and said, "So you'.re the one making those. I saw them come out of the kiln and knew those had been made by a potter.':

squee.

He wanted to know all about what was going on, so I told him, black slip, white slip, black liner, shino... he loved it.

And asked if I was interested in being his TA. 

Um. Yes.

But, it would mean no more date night with Delicious. I'd have to TA both his Friday classes to get full tuition break, because his classes are small, only five or so people in each, and in order to get the breaks and the perks, the class has to have ten. But dood. Blair Meerfeld called me a POTTER. Said it's good to see someone in the Studio with some maturity and creativity.  or something to that effect. I was too busy squeeing in my head to actually listen.

He also strongly urged me to do the student pottery sale. So I did. I'm signed up and oh boy. Here we go.
 






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I'm struggling to remember anything about Saturday, it went by in a blur. Let it be noted that my mother stopped speaking to my father by the time we got to the rendez-vous point, Delicious called in a very calm state of not-panic to say he'd been swept off into another state due to bad traffic and construction and didn't know if he could get back to Virginia, let alone to the venue, in time, and the kid spilled hot chocolate all over his pants before we got to Glen Gardens. I refused to let my mom's crazy ruin my mood; ditto weird traffic and hot chocolate. Delicious actually arrived at our appointed Starbucks in time to race to Glen Gardens if we'd wanted to hit it, but I'd already spoken to Bonnie, who assured me everything was fine, their noon wedding had canceled, so we had plenty of time and to just get there safe.  So he got a chance to catch his breath, so to speak, while I dabbed at hot chocolate that miraculously hadn't soaked into his pants and came out like it had never happened, and well... there's nothing I can do about my mom.

Bonnie and Dick were wonderful, their Glen Gardens wedding venue was so charming and perfect.... I got big hugs from them, strangers both. I wasn't at all nervous, I was so ready for this.  Got dressed in their little lovely dressing room, hung the pearls around my neck (Delicious's Christmas present to me last year) and mom did up the zips and snaps of my dress. Bonnie came in and the three of us chatted for five minutes until I finally declared we should get this road on the show.

The cottage was just lovely, and our kids looked so beautiful. Dick began the ceremony but Bonnie interrupted, insisting that there be music. She fiddled with the stereo, which by the way took its sweet time working... we were finally ready to get married and all I can remember was looking into Delicious' eyes, willing him not to let those tears well up and over, or I wouldn't be able to keep from crying. As it was, I just stood there grinning like an idiot, marveling at the beauty of the ceremony and the vows we exchanged.

The photos are up on Facebook, if you don't have me over there, look me up. Comments are screened just in case you don't know my real name and need it.
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Glen garden
On December 11 at 11AM, we will be married at the Cottage at Glen Garden.  My son will be wearing a brown blazer with khaki trousers, winging their way from eBay as we speak. My step-daughter is psyched to wear her communion dress from last year. I'll give her one of my pashminas to make her look fancy. I'll put on my 1950's vintage dress and some heels. Maybe even a hat. My fiance will be suitably attired and I will have a family of my own, again.  There will be a guy to marry us and someone to take nice pictures.


We will then head over to Fredericksburg for lunch together, and I can show the kids a part of my childhood.  There is a holiday lights tour near the little b&b I'd found if we stay the night.  We'll come back to DC and that Sunday evening, I have treated my whole family, my parents included, to tickets to see the Christmas Revels, and we'll then have dinner together. Sounds perfect.
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I've got tabs open all over the place. Wedding rings. Dresses. Inns in Virginia, though RWKN is trying to convince me to elope in North Carolina.  And suddenly this swoopy feeling zings around my insides.  This is so right. 

Had another great cuppa with my dad. I love to make him laugh. I surprise him a lot, because he spent a lot of time dismissing me for lack of common ground, so he thought. But I'm not liberal when it comes to money and gummint in my business. I just want human beings to give each other and the world a fair shake.If my easy client goes back into government after the elections next week, I can either convince him to take me to the Hill -- where I'll still make him look good -- or my dad will we hope take over his clients and I'll go to work with my dads. And dammit, I'd like that. 

I finally had to call my mother this afternoon and admit to being in a state of panic over the next few days.  Tomorrow I'm setting up a picnic for KoE's class while they do a field trip to a city garden, then running up to Baltimore to check on a problem with the house there with Delicious.  Thursday AM I go grocery shopping with Mom for our two and a half days in the Catoctins with da Kid, and then we drive up to Thurmont VA when school's out on the half day.

So I'm already frazzled Somewhere in there I have to do about eight hours of work, and not a chance in hell of doing any of it.
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Delicious is in Seattle tonight, and we chatted while he waited for his dinner to be served.

We're both impatient to get married, stop all the wondering and waffling and doubt and just do it. A simple JoP doesn't float his boat, he wants it to be meaningful. Can we include the kids? He doesn't want my parents at the JoP because his parents wouldn't be able to be there. "How about Vegas?" he said. "We could find somewhere somewhat tasteful in Vegas? Although the words 'tasteful' and 'Vegas' don't go together at all, do they?"

"Gretna Green," I said, with a laugh. He didn't get the reference, stuck in his memory on a street in a planned subdivision. "Where all the naughty Victorian girls ran off to elope.  But they had to make it to Gretna Green, first..."

He wondered about a cruise wedding... and then his dinner came. He charged me with doing a little Interneting to see what might come up.

Bingo. Virginia is for lovers. One can very easily elope in Virginia, and there is some beautiful country here, no matter the weather. A long weekend in Virginia and I come back a Mrs.

Now, if only I could find someone to sublet a fully furnished apartment through the summer...
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I couldn't sleep last night. Something about an itchy kid in my bed and a restless worried brain combined for clock-watching.
Except I'm smart and don't have a clock in my room.

Memories and thoughts are becoming increasingly tied to a physical sensation, an idea of mass, an envisioned shape and form. It's weird, but I'm trying to work with it. Anything that helps me remember more and think more clearly is OKAY by me. But it's strange to be arrested in mid-stride by a very faint scent in your office building lobby that feels entirely out of place, and brings echos of a past that cause me to start groping around in my labyrinthine brain for a match. The Soviet Union. 1985. A museum? It smells like the USSR. I stand in two realities, present and past, and I am bewildered.

So it was last night. Probing a thought with a physical presence full of unvoiced words, emotions; defined boundaries for an unshaped content and my mind groped and fitted words and sensations against the edges, matching feelings to the contours of a realization on the brink of revelation...

this relationship, this union I have chosen to make, is a wonder to me. I could see the two of us, connected by a bridge called Marriage. Separate yet together, with a means to cross the chasm when harmony is discord, with infinite places to go along a single continuum when exploration and personal quests call. Always knowing the way back, even when the way forward stretches with infinite, unknown possibility. I know that even when things are at their toughest for the two of us, as things will inevitably become from time to time... when perhaps the two individuals we are become entirely at odds with one another, I won't be afraid. I'll lean on the bridge and trust it to lead me back to the place I want to be most, at his side, back to back when we must rally our defenses and face to face when we need to replenish our hearts, hand in hand to share in life's joys--even the most mundane--and in each others' arms in happiness and grief.

I lay on my back in the dark and explored this bridge, its strength, its resilience, its brilliant engineering. We've been building it for such a long time, and we've done our work well.
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Tonight, he took my hand and examined the ring for a moment. "It gets smaller every time I look at it," he grumbled.

WTF?  He bought it, he knows what size that diamond is!!! It's beautiful, its shiny, it's well-proportioned for my hand and I love it. I know he's one of those guys who shows his love in action, not words, but I doubt he'd find a rock big enough to say it in diamonds.  It's perfect. Don't upgrade it, boy!
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When I left my client's office last week, I declined the offer of a drink at one of those Washington Power Establishments, saying, "No thanks, really, I have to get home to my son," and I, who have not a cent to my name until sometime after the beginning of the month, hopped into a cab and went home as fast as I could.  The KoE had called and left me a message asking me to come home. He said he was going to have dinner with grammie, and then come down so we could spend some us time together.

The front door catches all our stuff and we walk into our apartment. The kid takes in the open computer, the papers, the work-related mess all over the living room and asks, "Do you have any work you have to do, Mamma?" his face fragile, hope and resignation dancing across his eyes. 

"Boo, you called and said you wanted to spend some private time together, just you and me. And so nope, absolutely not, I do NOT have to work and I'm all yours. What do you want to do?"

"Can we play Keva planks?" he asked.  When i smiled, he ran into his room and came back with the box.  We made up this elaborate games involving towers and mazes, with little dudes in helmets and dragons and the Ruby Ducky sitting high upon a chair, the object of our hero's attention. Actually, it was a rubber duck that lights up and flashes.  All of which meant, of course, that we had to watch Ernie's Rubber Ducky song. And sing along.

The KoE has created a sort of nest out of his bottom bunk.  All the blankets and pillows and stuffed animals are piled pish-posh in there, with little areas scooped out for a boy body to take over.  And we have cannibalized some crappy, king sized sheets to create a curtain around the whole thing, so he has a safe little hideaway (and the fact that it's still light out at 9PM isn't as much of an issue).  We snuggled, and I was so tired, laying on a blanket lump or three and holding my head up with my hand. 

"Move your hand, mom!" he urged, and I laughed.  "No way, it's the only thing holding my tired head up!"
"Come on, move your hand out of the way!" so I did, and he pushed a pillow at me, smoothing it out and pushing my head gently down.  i closed my eyes.  He pulled a cotton quilt out from the mess and draped it over me, then patted me on the head.  I lay there for a moment and then, "Hmph!" I said, pulling the curtains down. "Hmph!"  which sent him into a giggling fit of glee. "Hmph!" SQUEE.

Finally, he created a parallel nest and placed his pillow below mine.  He snuggled down and was still. "I love you, mom," he breathed, and I kissed him on his forehead. "Do kisses ever go away?"

“I don’t think so, honey. I think they stay forever.”

“I think I have to wait until I’m older to kiss Fiona.” He thought for a minute. “But what happens if you kiss somebody and then you don’t like them anymore? What happens to the kisses then?”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. The kisses were good when they were given, and that’s what sticks around.” Sure, I’m stretching the truth a little, but if my boy can maintain some kind thoughts for the girls who are going to break his heart, I say give him all the support you can.

He began to hum, then sing softly, a lilting melody that had a repeating motif, with magical words that almost sounded like Chinese.  The tune went on for a long time, my boy curled next to me, his sweet little voice without a trace of self-consciousness.  It brought tears to my eyes. When at last it was through I said softly, “That was beautiful, sweetheart. Thank you for singing it to me.”
“I made it up myself, and only a few of the words were Chinese.  The rest were just things I made up.”

He shifted around, and complained that he’d never be able to get to sleep with all this singing in his head.  I reminded him that I used to sing to him when he couldn’t sleep. “Would you like me to sing you a story song?”  And so I sang him “The Circle Game”, all four verses, and all the while he hummed a tuneless accompaniment beneath it.  And when it was done, he told me, “You sing beautifully, mama.  Did you notice what I was doing?” and his voice was so full of pride.
“Yes, you were humming along with me. It was very nice.”
“I love you, Mom,” he sighed.

Oh how I love him too.
He begged for more songs and really, I can’t remember words to save my life.  But I muddled my way laughingly through Bowie’s “Starman” and the kid was full of questions and wonder. Did the kids get to see the space man? Did they go with him? did they find out what he looked like?

There were more snuggles, and his delight that the two of us were curled up in his little bed.  And he let me go to brush my teeth and get ready for bed, but I had to promise to have a sleepover tomorrow night. We’ll argue over who has to sleep on the top bunk, and no matter how I try, he’ll win and insist that I take the cozy bottom bunk.  And we are going to be such tired bunnies tomorrow night, with a full day of camp and work and then the Folk Life Festival to explore.
This is the life I was meant to lead.  I need the flexibility of time, so I can give some of myself to my son, every day.  And get some of his exuberant, shiny spirit in return.
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