Today I am awake again in the fours. The new school year has begun..in earnest, at WFDC, for my daughter in her new high school, for my son at college, for our old day care friends in kindergarten and in their new day cares, for Maeve, my new housemate, in her new classroom of english language learners. The house thrums with the energy of it. As I type this, the computer flashes new dates entered in the calendar by my daughter’s dad, crew practice, crew practice, crew practice, crew a frontier I hadn’t counted on, now entering my life the first week of my daughter’s public high school experience, my daughter another athlete in the family finding pieces of her stuff not identifiable as of me.

This weekend I had lots of love, as I visited my son in New York City, with his gal, my gal and her guy, as I visited our place in Western Mass, with surprise time with Richard and a hello to his daughter, neither of whom I’ve seen all summer, with a call from my guy at college, also in the form of an invitation to join Liana and a day care mom in writing an article together, and again in the invitation to this fall’s writing class.

This week the day care reopens with new children, who we are invited to love, and for these new little people, I feel gratitude that the love will come easy. We have a sweet one year old just learning how to walk with a voice like a tiger, a sweet almost two with words to tell us what he wants and parents to help, a wide-eyed three who tells me he was hoping to start yesterday, so much sincerity and feeling from a new acquaintance when he speaks I become wide-eyed, too. They remind me to be open to love, these little people. As the three leaves with his mother, he wonders if the little people are starting at his old school..and I wonder if the phrase little people, which has been my choice of late in referring to our smaller friends, is one he’s incorporated into his own vernacular in one short day of togetherness, or if it is one we just happen to share.

These loves come into our lives, and they leave, often unexpectedly. My own cat Frances has been a mystery in love all her life, cursing me with her bad habits, wooing me with her affection. Last night, after I had packed up her food and planned to offer it to the day care group, I returned home from a meeting to meet a friend here for tea on the porch, only to hear Frances crying in the yard, first time she’s returned in nearly a week, after a week outside and no seeming interest in returning to the house..a night before her vet appointment to be put down for incurable pooping and peeing on the couch..oh, dear..another life and death decision to make, another connection to sever or maintain..Just a cat some would say, but when I went down to see if she was there after my friend left, I found her sitting on the porch settee cushion, just where I knew she would like to sit if she returned, with her two wide eyes looking directly into mine as they always have, one soul to another, and the decision felt real indeed, life or death, life or death, life or death.

And my uncle died this week, my father’s closest surviving brother, one of the three out of ten siblings living as of last week now gone. So this weekend my sister and I will drive all day Saturday and Sunday to be at calling hours Saturday evening and the funeral and meal afterwards on Sunday, so I can finish work Friday at 5 and she can be back to work Monday bright and early, both of us teachers too committed to our students to take time off this time of year.

But this morning it’s money, too, which is its’ own form of love. Out of love for the house, for the day care, for my family, for myself, I’m taking all the money I’ve got and dumping it out this month, giving it to the carpenters and painters, to the teachers, to the IRS and Commonwealth of Mass, to Wells Fargo for the mortgage, to the GAP and Target and wherever else my children stock up for back to school, to Peapod and Whole Foods, to Taylor and Murphy who came to fill the oil tanks for winter in the end of summer heat, to EVERSOURCE for all the air conditioning and fans and lights and sound and gas, to the City of Somerville for real estate taxes, water and sewer..away it goes, all the money that comes in this month, and most of what I’ve saved, is going out, in chunks I need to coordinate. I must concentrate to make sure it comes out right.

And the house looks fine, as fine as it’s ever looked since I’ve lived here, on the outside at least. In the corner of the living room I’ve got two boxes of lights the electrician whose daughter once attended after school here will put up on the porch, piece de resistance, not spelled correctly, but you get it..a Moravian star for to replace the standard fixture that came with the house and a string of edison bulbs from Pottery Barn to replace the strands of Christmas lights that had been dying and came down after the paint job..Next comes day care relicensing, for which we will work to tidy and freshen the house as well as to get our routines and records in order..then comes inside work..cleaning, cleaning out, tidying, painting, finishing clearing out the housemates’ rooms of day care and Ben stuff..It’s a big job to love a house thoroughly enough just to live in it, forget about running a day care and inviting folks to share it..but it makes it worth it that way, all the money and time and energy would mean nothing if no one lived or played here anymore.

Time to get on that. Wish me luck with the Frances decision, the money wrangling and house chores. All in love, all in love, all in love..What would the heart say?

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