Getting one’s first pair of fencing knickers is not something that most families celebrate. 😉
But COD and his seasoned 16-year-old Dark Horse fencer will appreciate it, if no one else can. And this week I’m in the hunt for any family-and-friends moment that can draw the cozy circle of “home” closer.
My life seems a little surreal because we’ve moved into a local hotel, pending new traditional wood floors being sanded, sealed and finished throughout our home of ten years. You don’t want to know how dusty places I haven’t seen since 2002 had gotten — we’ve all been sneezing our heads off — or how many boxes of books we packed before we could notice any difference (over 100.) Everything we own from electronics and delicates to the refrigerator and washer-dryer is now stuffed into our garage like a Jenga puzzle, front to back, floor to ceiling, and I mean everything — including, unexpectedly and rather unfortunately from my POV at least, the shirts and suits DH needs for work and all of Young Son’s personal hygiene products.
But by golly, we got out with Young Son’s fencing bag, chanter and bagpipes, Irish stepdance hard shoes, the library’s Les Miserables still in progress, his iTouch AND one of the chess boards. . . oh, and more than a dozen geek t-shirts.
And this laptop, upon which I now muse.
So anyway. Our regularly scheduled daily activities proceed unabated here “at home” except we’re not. At home, I mean. Instead of taking a vacation from our home, it’s more like our home is taking a vacation from us! Who are we, really — just where we are now or also where we were, where we hope to be? What we have with us at the moment and can show, or also what we’ve collected over time, even if we can’t get at it or forgot where we put it?
Wednesday afternoon we went to the fencing salle as we always do, but from the opposite side of town so it was the same but different. The knickers in his suddenly adult size had come in, hurray, so that when he’s ready for his first tournament, he’ll have the regulation gear. (Not that I’ll be able to find his birth certificate or USFA application any time soon or maybe ever, mutter, mutter.)
And they look cool on him, with the white built-in suspenders stretching up over his Big Bang Theory t-shirt. (Later after his shower with improvised hygiene products scavenged at the hotel, he tried them on again over a red Monty Python Spanish Inquisition t-shirt and that looked cool, too.)
And I flashed back to my first pair of fencing knickers almost 40 years ago, different yet not so different at all. I feel at home with him fencing, as if my family now and then are connecting. Going with him to the salle twice a week “takes me home” — to a life I loved, to a sport that opened up the world to me, to my own family when I was a teenager, to my alma mater UF and its dorm rooms as my first “home away from home” and of course to the family home I still “went home to” between terms, when the dorms closed. All of that is gone now, packed away in my capacious memory garage, somewhat dusty and stacked to the rafters front to back like a Jenga puzzle.
Pull out one piece and no telling what will fall on your head!
And like Dorothy, hit on the head in her very own home, I’m feeling caught up in the tornado and funneled into a parallel world, home but transformed, exciting and strange yet so strangely familiar. Like Dorothy, all I think I want to do (in both literal and literary terms) is get home again by whatever ways and means, and again like Dorothy, my astonishing technicolor adventures are playing out in such as way as to cause me to suspect I never really left home at all. This feels both strange and strangely comforting, and probably just sounds strange to you. Oh well, that’s where a blog home comes in, the place they have to take you in and that’s okay. 🙂