Raphael was a little monster child today.
Oh, I know that probably sounds awful, and I should be more sympathetic about the wee guy's emotional state, but fertheluvapete, that child was making me crazy. Not just me, either. When he's having an off day, like today, he's all energy and enthusiasm, bounding around and laughing while he drives the people around him right 'round the bend with frustration. He is Nero, fiddling whilst Rome burns. A small example: I was sweeping the living room and Raphael came bouncing up the stairs and spied me standing there, a mound of floor dirt at my feet. He raced over, leapt into the dirt pile with both stocking-ed feet, and did a little jig of sorts. While playing a bongo rhythm on my remarkably covex belly. And laughing.
It was as though his mind processed, in a split second, all the "be careful, don't walk through the dirt" messages he had ever received, and instantly picked the one course of action most guaranteed to annoy me. The belly bongo act was just an inspired bonus.
In the whole day, I can only think of one moment of peace in Raphael's world. When the mail came, I spied an envelope from Clay's sister, Brenda. I tore it open, and there was a card with a beautiful picture of Brenda, her husband Brad, and their little girl, Mina. Raphael stood behind me, pressing against my shoulder in an effort to get close the picture. You may remember that he fell in love with Aunt Brenda this summer, when we were all out at Clay's parent's house for their 50th wedding anniversary. He followed her around, taking pictures of her whenever he could.
"Can I see? Is it Aunt Brenda? CAN I HAVE IT?"
I let him hold the card and he flipped it over, looking for a letter, then back, to gaze at Brenda's face.
"I have to make her a card," he breathed. And he raced off to find the paper and markers. For a good half an hour he was silent, laboring over his artwork for Aunt Brenda. I peered at the top of his head, bent over his work. For once in the day he was content.
I do not know what to do with Raphael some days, I swear I don't. But I know this: love is a mystery and Raphi is a mystery. And the two mysteries together are very good, indeed.
(This is one of the pictures Raphi took of Brenda this summer. She's the lovely one in profile. See his reflection in the window? Sort of sweet/stalkerish, isn't it?)
Happy Love Thursday, everyone. May passion reframe your day.