My professor left very early this morning. He took a small part of my heart with him because, well, that's how these things work. I gave it to him, but I will admit that he had to earn it and it did not come easily to him. At all. Still, the knowing of him, now. some how makes all of this not as hard as it may seem from the outside looking in. Or maybe it is just that I'm a different me than I used to be?
With the exception of a trip to Korea for his birthday, I won't be seeing much of LilSalty over the next year because he will be living with his mother. That small child also has a big piece of my heart in his heart, though, and we all know this because, well, that's how these things work. I have bits of both their hearts in my heart, too. Right in the very spaces and places where my heart went into their own.
It's all good, as I like to say. The love will keep going. Family is not defined by the house that you live in. It's defined by the hearts that hold it.
Our hearts hold it fiercely.
If we had a theme song for our summer this summer, it would definitely be PEACHES by Presidents of the United States of America. Yes, I realize it is a song from 1995, a good ten years before LilSalty was even born. But here's the thing about this kid. He's got a very wise soul. He just knows things. One thing that comes pouring out from all the molecules of his body, every single one, is music. He can't stop making it. Ever. Even if he tries. He sings in his sleep.
I introduced him to Peaches at some point in the late spring. It has been our summer jam ever since. We've created all kinds of lyrics for that song. It's special for us because the Oregon Country Fair logo is a peach, the dragon's name is Peachy, the fair is our MOST FAVORITE THING EVER, and there's a lot of OREGON to drive thru from here to there and that means a lot of singing with a lot of made up lyrics.
You get the drift.
I've talked a little bit about how life is changing in a lot of very big ways for the Salty Family.
Today, the last day I really had to spend with LilSalty before we all begin our year of living separately, he and I took the dogs for a walk. We talked all about art, because that's the kind of thing we talk about. Van Gogh and Monet and Ansel Adams and Yosemite and how you photograph large landscapes and how you paint a painting like A Starry Night and how you might, one day, have your own art gallery. And we also sang about peaches, only we sang our own lyrics about Stella and Buddha and the dragon at the fair.
I picked some lavender for him as we walked along and told him I'd put it under his pillow for good dreams. He asked me about charming some bees. We wondered about dinosaur foot prints on the sidewalk and how they possibly got there and he told me all about Godzilla and a mod that was troubling him in Minecraft. And I swallowed back my own tears and refused to be anything but furiously happy that everything was absolutely filled with sunshine and love and, well, peaches.
Because this, this is who we are. This is how we love each other. This is just what we do.
No matter what.