Yesterday, I spent the entire day babysitting my eight-year-old niece. She’s the most timid, pixie-like creature and like all children, it doesn’t take too much to make her happy. And like all other children, when they’re there your life kind of revolves around them. The Internet wasn’t working because of the storm last night, so our options in this day and age were somewhat limited. Also fewer opportunities to distract children (how else could I watch TV shows other than Spongebob? Even though I feel that those yellow cartoons could potentially provide evidence for social learning at its worst).
Highlights: letting Maha beat the eggs for my cheese omelet, unlocking the intermediate series in Kinect Adventure games, a treasure hunt that involved the red wise creature holding the last clue that rhymed just enough to elude or impress the eight-year old, making mac ‘n’ cheese in the microwave, walking to the park TWICE, and that really creepy frog that we thought was dead because it was lying on its back, its pasty pale slimy stomach exposed to the cruel world…and then we peered closer at it, it slowly twisted its neck and look up at us with its unblinking black eyes. Right out of a miniature horror movie. Just the thought makes me shudder! Thank goodness it was so tiny! I need to flick off the shivers now.
When bedtime finally rolled along, I thought to myself how I admire parents everywhere. Life these days makes it so easy to be selfish. And that is what independence does to you. It teaches you how to cook, how to clean bathrooms, and pay your bills, to eat healthier and multitask constantly. But it also makes you highly self-involved and what with so many things to do, how do I make time for what you what? Delays in my schedule because of another person’s needs? Changes, adjustments, postponing, cancelling, rearranging? Really? A trait that people used to accept before as part of their existence with other beings is becoming rarer to find.
I find it so difficult when the bus runs late, or I have to accommodate another person’s schedule with mine and that makes me sad. I need to work on this whole huffy-puffy when the pieces don’t fall exactly where I want them to fall attitude.
Anyways, so, back to Dallas. Yesterday night there was an incredible storm. The clouds rolled into their dark arena from all directions, gathered momentum, and then rushed towards one another, crashing and thundering, so loud the walls of the house shook in time with my heart. Then there was the lightning. It made me pause everything, turn off the lights, the TV and stand transfixed in front of the screen door that looks over the backyard. (Thank God for suburban neighborhoods that allow you a view of the sky). And the sky would glow, purple, white, it was so bright I could see the electric current zap down like a rip in the heavens, showing you for a split second a glimpse of another reality. The neighborhood would brighten up like it was early morning and then it was back to midnight. The lightning zigzagged vertically, behind houses, so close and bright I swore it must be striking the house two streets down. And then it would cut across horizontally, branches of electricity reaching out like long fingers.
It was so beautiful I was entranced. I stood there for so long with my camera held at a steady, elbows out, both hands on the device position, my finger half-pressing the button because it really is difficult to capture lightning. It is surprisingly hard to keep one eye shut like that.
Anyways, I was rewarded with a couple of photographs. Nothing compared to the awe of watching the live light show, but I’ll take what I can get.
I like this Texan weather.