As I had predicted, August is proving tricky to trudge through. "Trudge" is an appropriate way to describe the way in which I feel I am moving through these hot, slow days. I feel as if I am walking through mounds of beach sand while on a constant incline. All of me aches by the end of the day. I feel as though even irrelevant parts, things like my toes and fingers and shoulder blades, they all hurt from the weight of all that August stands for, all that August lacks. "I don't think crying is a good idea," Ethan keeps saying to me at sporadic times throughout the day despite the fact that I'm not crying. "I don't think it's a good idea for you to be sad when I go to sleep." I've decided it's completely impossible for him to hear me cry from his bed in the night and that this is just proof of the connection that parent and child share, a connection in which we can feel one another even when we cannot see one another. I want to think that I have this connection with Wylie, too.
On Saturday, in the early evening, we had a picnic at the skate park. The skate park is somehow my peaceful place, although zen isn't usually associated with the clangs and crashes of boards slamming against wooden ramps. It was the first place Ethan ever loved on his own, the first place he begged to go to. The first time I witnessed him falling in love with something.
The skate park is less new now and the obvious magic has died down to a place of calm and routine. It's also a place of comfort to me, sort of like our familial happy place. I needed the charm of the skate park and the open air on Saturday evening. I needed mason jars filled with chili and fruits and vegetables and watching Ethan chase bubbles in the tall grass. I needed that familiar, comforting sound of teenage banter and skateboard wheels crashing against the cement. I needed to level myself a little bit because these emotions pile up on me and they all feel so heavy. Every bit of August feels so heavy, every drop of sweat and every cloud in the sky.
But I continue to trudge and sweat and bear every bit of the weight of August because at the top of that hill is Ethan. And with his strength somehow I still manage to feel my own heart beating.
He is everything.