Altars and little boys

So, The Man of The House (TMoTH) is gone to the Mars Society convention as of yesterday and will be back on Sunday. That’s five days inclusive, just me and wee G.

Time for Absence Insanity to kick in.

Did you ever do that thing, where you decide that an upcoming event (anniversary, reunion, holiday, hook-up with long-gone ‘friend) was the ideal goal date by which to lose weight or complete a project or some such? “I’m going to lose 20 lbs. by the family reunion in December,” etc.

Right. Well, around here, I have what I fondly refer to as Absence Insanity. See, whenever TMoTH leaves on an out-of-town, for work or what have you, I decide (at some level, for some given definition of “deciding”) that I can do all that. In a simple number of days I will be able to lose 10 pounds, begin and finish project(s), get “rested up” and read three scholarly works. Often he’s only gone for two nights. This trip, it’s four. Golly. I could weave whole garments. (Bear in mind that this is only at night–I still have morning-til-9pm with G.)

You think I jest? I have two half-dressed looms in the middle of my living room floor. One of them is draped in bouts of alpaca yarn and wrapped inelegantly in a blanket, which is then safetypinned so that it is inviolable against the onslaught that is Hershey, Alpaca Slayer. Seriously. Cat needs meds when he’s around alpaca. It’s like Kahlua on catnip: swipe, swipe, sniff, miaoooooowww, roll in it, web it around, get mad that he is completely enveloped, run crazed around the house trailing yarn, notice that yarn is moving somewhere behind, chase it, hurt himself, hiss at me, eat yarn. Repeat.

The other loom looks like a half-dressed loom–in other words, trussed.

Yet in my mind these will both be completed projects well before the train pulls in on Sunday. I will sashay up to my disembarking love wearing my new bag and wrap, all confidence and funky style, a trail of thrums the only evidence of hard work in my otherwise relaxed and happy-go-lucky attitude.

I laugh at this because I know in my heart that I’m already behind, already too late, already headed for disappointment, self-criticism, Certain Doom. (Da da daaaa!) Still. I like to think I’m an optimist at heart, really. To such an extent that I’m trundling the little loom with me when I truck the offspring up to visit my family tomorrow. (This is saying something, as it weighs a lot more than he does and may actually require that I Move The Carseat. “Little loom” is rather a misnomer. Try smaller loom, as in “smaller than the Leclerc Nilus II floor loom”.) However one may laugh at the idea that any weaving might get done, I say to you now: It can happen.

I’m not saying it will. But it might.

In other news, Ben and had our first overtly spiritual ritual the other night. We have rituals–everyone does, of course–developed around bedtime, mealtimes, etc. But I really felt it was time to begin exposing him to a sense of structured spirituality, mythology, etc. We run a pretty mellow pagan household around here, a blend of wicca and pantheism that works pretty well (think Goddess traditions + The Force + a bit of tree hugging). We’re all about being amazed at the beauty and wonder of the universe. TMoTH and I felt that three is a good age at which to start sharing stories with little guy, because you know if he doesn’t get it at home, he’s going to get it on the streets with his friends and who knows what trouble a little mistaken theology can get him into. Whew!

He’s always liked the moon, so a full-moon celebration seemed appropriate. We spent all last week gathering elements representing earth, air, fire, and water for our altar, and with each new piece I asked Geeklet to explain to me why that thing belonged on our altar and which element it fit. He was pretty good about it. Then Tuesday, in my rusty and haphazard way I cast a circle and led the Boy around, calling for the spirits of the four directions to bless our altar. It took longer than expected. Just as we were calling for the spirits of the East to attend and bless our element of air representative, Boy called for a potty break and ran for it. I had to stand and hold the circle while he did his small-boy business.

This took a while.

Then we finished up, blew out our candle and went into the kitchen, where we made full-moon brownies from the Bossk Brownies recipe in my Star Wars Wookie Cookies Cookbook and decorated them.

Me: So, let’s use the silvery-white sugar to make full moons on the brownies.

B: Yes! Can I use the green?

Me: Green? Only if you can justify making a moon with green.

B: Some people think the moon is made with green cheese.

Me: Okay, good point.

B: Can I use red?

Me: A red moon?

B: You said the moon turned red during the eclipse last night.

Me: Okay, good point.

B: How about black?

Me: Black?

B: Well, new moon?!?

And so on. I think he enjoyed it all, and it’s a nice introduction to the world of religion. Tonight we read a book in which Big Momma (I called her Big Momma Goddess), with a baby on her hip, began the world in seven days, at the end of each she would look down and say, “That’s good. That’s real good.” By the end she’d made light and dark, earth, the moon, sun and stars, land and plants and animals and all of the people everywhere (so she could sit on the front steps and gab).

I, unfortunately, will probably not get quite so much done. Even less, with Hershey’s help.

Now if I had seven days, what could I do…?


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