Lynnfield MA, 04/22/1981

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April 22, 1981

The last month simultaneously crawled and flew.  I haven’t heard from the mystery time-traveler in about a month.  He or she (I’m not too sure of anything with him) hasn’t responded to my offer to talk more.

For the most part, I’ve been working, doing my homework in the morning while Elliot’s at daycare, and then going to work, and I have a babysitter picking him up when the daycare closes. We’ve finally got our routine down, and I’m relatively able to soothe him back to sleep when he’s fussy.  That development only really happened this last week.  Melanie tells me that it will change again soon.

I do try to spend as much time as possible with him, but is difficult simultaneously trying to earn money, go to school, and focus on changing the future.  The key has been taking Elliot with me to see my grandmother, the two of them are very clearly in love, with her being his favorite person.  Everytime she holds him, he is awake, and calm, and stares up at her the entire time.

I saw her this morning, and she had some very interesting news for me.

 

“Your parents got engaged last night!” she whispered excitedly as she slid into the booth across from me.  I had already ordered her a coffee, and it sat on the table in front of her.

“Last night?” I was a little shocked, I mean I knew it would be coming soon, because we were only about a year from their wedding, but, “yesterday was her birthday!”

“I know, isn’t that romantic?” She was beaming, and took a few sips of her drink, before I handed Elliot to her.

“Yeah, but I’ve heard the story a hundred times, and she never mentioned it was on her birthday.” I was a little concerned, I was hoping nothing I had done had changed the timeline, I had been pretty confident I couldn’t but this seemed like a big detail for them to have left out.

“Well, they went to a really nice restaurant, and your father apparently knelt down beside the table and everyone started looking…” she began.  This was exactly how I recalled it, and it had been funny because my father hated being the center of attention.

It turned out that she was very excited for the engagement, and Elliot watched her as she beamed over the fact that she was going to get to plan a shower for my Mom.

 

I had actually managed to hang out with my parents twice since Elliot came to live with me.  I had mentioned him to my father, and I guess when he mentioned it to my mother, she was excited to see the baby, so they came to my house.  It was a little strange, but exciting.  I had seen my mother around enough babies that I knew how she was. But I couldn’t remember what my father had been like.  I assumed that Sam had been the last baby he’d really held or whatever, but it was clear that I was wrong.

He held Elliot, and it was funny to hear how little he changed the inflection of his voice for Elliot.  The rest of us spoke to a baby in a sickening ‘baby talk voice’ but my father talked to him the way I remembered him talking to me at about ten years old.  It was a little overwhelming, and I had to fight the urge to get upset, but somehow they both could see it in my face, and asked me about it.

“Um… Honestly, I just think I’m too tired.” I wasn’t crying, but I’m sure I looked like a mess.

“If you want, we could babysit some time.  I know with Melanie in Florida, you’re probably feeling spread a bit thin,” my mother volunteered.

“Honestly, if you guys come over like this again, and take him while I make dinner for all of us, this is just a huge reset for my brain.”

 

So, a week later, they volunteered to come watch him, and I made dinner.  It was a little difficult, thinking of what to make, because honestly, all of my recipes were just my mother’s tomato sauce, and I didn’t think I could make that, but it ended up being a nice night, and so I grilled up burgers and hot dogs for them.  We had a nice evening with them tending to Elliot.  Eventually, at about midnight, they woke me up, apparently I’d fallen asleep on the couch, and they told me they were going to take off.

Luckily, they assumed my exhaustion had been the cause of my sleep, and while it certainly had contributed, there was a natural calmness in me around them, that remained from when I had been in the back seat of their cars as a kid, and we would ride home from wherever, and they would talk softly, and eventually they wouldn’t even talk anymore, and there would be silence in the car, because my father didn’t want the radio to disturb us.  The house had been nearly as quiet, and so I had been lulled to sleep by my parents, even though they weren’t yet my parents.

 

Something that hadn’t really clicked in my head, until sitting with my grandmother, and talking about my mother’s birthday last night, was that the last time I saw my mother she was still a teenager.  She’d turned twenty yesterday, and while it had been weird to see them both so young, this was in its own right pretty bizarre.

I thought about it up until I dropped Elliot off at daycare a couple of hours late, and headed in for my late shift.  She got engaged on her 20th birthday.  It’s still odd to me.

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