The children have been nitpicking at each other incessantly the past few days. Perhaps sensing the benefactor’s arriving departure, they are making it easier for her to journey by unleashing bickering and arguing. It is harder to miss people when they seem intent on driving you loony. One dispute, for instance, involved the younger female crying because she realized that she had not been living with the younger male his entire life, whereas everyone has. For some reason, it caused her great pain to comprehend that she had not been present since his birth, and her sensitive soul could not handle that realization.
This past Sunday, the children insisted on doing nothing, which was not quite out of the ordinary, except the benefactor truly needed them to really do some things. It felt like a constant tug of war, where she gained an inch of ground, only to have them retreat and complain. The benefactor had to pull out all the stops and threaten to withhold the very special holiday cookies that the children’s grandmother baked and shipped recently. Finally, motivation entered their bones to complete the tasks at hand.
On Monday, shopping was required to prepare and guarantee that the elder children would not starve and waste away in the benefactor’s absence. This was met with great resistance as the younger children had to accompany the benefactor. Thanks to the world losing light at an ungodly, early hour, their levels of fatigue and protest have elevated, and it only added to their unhappiness at arriving home later. The benefactor hoped to buffer this by providing a snack while at the general store, but even that was not enough to prevent their grumbles and bitterness.
Yesterday, with the benefactor prepared and ready to adventure, she was able to partake in an evening of party games with the younger children, playing a replication of life. As they played, the benefactor began questioning some of Life’s requirements, such as marriage. The elder male, open minded and adaptable, said she would not have to be married if she did not wish, so the benefactor’s pink piece happily wandered the board in its car solo, which felt like an appropriate metaphor for her own current existence.
In the midst, the younger female also asked her to assist with an educational art project, and they debated for some time how they should disguise the drawing of a turkey, with the younger female intrigued at the notion of turning him into a vampire or dinosaur. The benefactor, in an effort to seek greater originality, and taking into account the art supplies at hand, suggested turning the turkey into an iconic musician. After pondering the concept, the younger female agreed, and they gathered supplies as the younger male continued to play the game on their behalf. The younger female gave direction on what design she required, and the benefactor created such for her, occasionally having to wake the younger female, who began dozing while sitting and overseeing the project. Finally finished, the elder male announced that his sibling had won the game, and the benefactor ushered them off to bed.
This morning, the younger children took again to quarreling, with the elder male continually pushing past the limits of others, as he is wont to do. This specific argument, over whether they wanted each other as siblings (which is, at this moment, a moot point and well out of their ability to control, the genetic damage being done) ended in the younger female shedding tears of hurt. The elder children were woken by the quibbling, and then also became part of the disagreement, with voices bouncing off the walls. With early morning calm that she didn’t know existed, the benefactor was able to settle the younger children and encourage the elders to return to their sleeping lairs. The benefactor had to pull the elder male aside and explain his job as a role model for about the thousandth time, and why he should be kinder for one thousand and one. He heaved a sigh, looking at the benefactor with an expression of knowing what he should be doing, even though he didn’t want to do it. But alas, he is constantly learning, as we all are, in this game of life. It was as much a reminder to the benefactor to be gentle with herself when she doesn’t live up to her own expectations, as she is compassionate with him.
Saying goodbye is always the most difficult part for the benefactor when traveling. She hugged the younger children a few extra times, their bodies squirming to be free so they could get inside their educational center. They reluctantly obliged her a couple of snapshots, even though the younger male reminded her several times that she already has over 500 photos (touche). The younger female chimed in as well, saying that the benefactor didn’t need any more pictures, to which the benefactor replied she couldn’t get enough. In the apex of their youth, they do not feel the march of time the same as the benefactor, how important it is for her to capture these singular moments, lest they are one day confronted with the possibility of its impermanence, and given no more.