This time we were, again, in the car. It was coming on sunset and as often happens in Utah, the sky was just ablaze. It was shocking. The multiple cloud formations created such depth and dimension and combined with the rays of the sun, there was something spectacular to be seen at every turn. I love this time of day, when everything becomes alive because of the colors the sunset spectrum creates. On this occasion, we had Julian's friend joining us for the ride. We were driving to pick up Sean who had dropped off the other car at the shop. Such a mom thing to do, I remarked on the insanity of the beautiful sky, particularly the burst of rays that shone down directly over the lake, creating this enormous pot of gold on the water's surface. Julian noticed it too and, in spite of being in the middle of little boy chatter, paused to exclaim his appreciation for the beauty as well. He tried so hard to get his friend to see it but, in spite of our combined efforts, it didn't work. The friend just didn't see it like we did.
I found myself feeling so grateful for this friend. It's taken Julian kind of a long time to be really comfortable with having kids over and it's been a long, long road for both of us. So we've entered into this new phase and it's been pretty great to have someone to share in his interests, thoughts, and ideas, that isn't me. That I can sort of pass the baton to someone closer to his age as he dips his toes more and more in independence. I'm glad for it. It relieves an immense amount of pressure that I have felt on a constant basis for 8 years.
Their conversation was so pure, and so boy'ish. The friend could make fart noises with his armpit and they discussed whoopie cushions and how best to use them. They discussed favorite foods and which would win, mac and cheese or pizza (it's a tie). They had a waving contest to see who could get the most waves from passing cars. And then the most magical back-and-forth took place and I sat and drove, desperately willing to keep it going, biting my lip to keep from laughing out of sheer delight whilst my mind frantically transcribed all that was said, to my memory. Julian had mentioned something from when he lived in New York.
FRIEND: You lived in New York?
FRIEND: New York is dangerous.
JULIAN: No, it's not. My mom and I went out all the time and nothing happened to us.
FRIEND: My dad says it is. Did anyone ever try to take you? Or take something from you?
JULIAN: Like, kidnap me? No, never.
FRIEND: My dad says that happens in New York. Scary things, and people trying to steal things from you.
JULIAN: Well, that happens everywhere! It's just because it's a big city. Tell your dad he's wrong. I lived there for half my life and nothing like that ever happened. No one stole from us, there were no murders, no kidnapping, none of it.
All of this made my heart swell ten sizes, but "lived there for half my life" just about did me in. I try so hard not to create false memories for him but I also don't want to lose whatever he already has. Also I decided not to mention that I knew several people who'd been mugged, a murder took place just across the street by someone we knew, and we listened to countless thefts right outside our bedroom window. Nonetheless. In spite of that, living there was magic, and listening to this on this day was magic, and I felt so, so proud.
Afterward, Sean in tow (meaning, sitting beside me), I turned on some Sufjan Stevens and as we listened to the chill and gazed at the shocking view before us-- those few minutes of the day when the sunset gets splashed onto the mountains giving off a very grand scale, faux bio-luminescence-- so beautiful and so unreal and I was reminded of another post of another really good day of a different month. But we sat and we watched and we listened, and we let November just do its thing, thankful we were there to take it all in.