Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's the Matter With Saturdays?

The last two Saturdays, Peter has been down in the dumps, very nostalgic, missing the family we once had. I felt that way, too, Saturday before last. Didn't even want to get out of bed. I'm glad that feeling of sadness didn't last pervasively for me, and I wonder what was the trigger. Why Saturdays? After all, we are retired and Saturday really isn't much different than any other day of the week for us.

I think after a couple of weeks, I may have figured it out, or at least what came to make some sense to me. In those years when we were raising our boys, Saturday was often a day we did something special together, some kind of outing we all enjoyed. Peter and I weren't working on Saturday, so it was family time. What we did depended on where we were living at the time. In Germany, it was Volksmarching, six mile hikes in towns all over southern Germany.

In Japan, it was the Saturday bus trips to some interesting destination in Japan, or soccer games at Camp Zama (the boys playing; one year, Peter W. coaching), or a train trip to somewhere like Machida for shopping, Tokyo, or Kamakura.

In Hawaii, it was likely to be either beach day, going to Bellows Beach and then to Bueno Nalo for quesadillas and Dave's Ice Cream for the marvelous coconut macadamia nut ice cream, or down to Waikiki for dinner, a movie, and playing games at the video game parlor.

In Chicago, we might have gone to a museum, or something like a car show, or walked down to Lake Michigan, or many other things we did there. And in Puerto Rico, going to Old San Juan, the beach, or trips around the island.

Even after the boys were grown, it was Sunday evening that Leif was likely to be at our house for dinner, so that was associated with the weekend, too.

None of those things happen now, but I think there's a nostalgia for it, for those times we were together. I think we are both finding time, in a way, to think about this more now that we aren't traveling as much and having company. The distractions aren't there. We are refocusing inward.

I do miss that family we had when the boys were young and their problems were small, when they were beautiful, handsome children who made us see the world through new eyes.

My Leif was always the climber. If there was something to climb on, he'd climb it. Rocks, stumps, trees, walls, hills, anything he could go UP. Always up. He could skip around on things like a billy goat with no fear.

This photo of him on a huge stump was taken in Scheffau, Austria in August 1979 when Leif was four-and-a-half years old. He was glorying in having gotten up there and was surveying the world from above our heads. Of course, being "mom" I was worried he'd get hurt, but he wasn't worried in the least, and he got safely down without any assistance. How I wish the other things in his life had been so easy to "get down" from.

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