In an effort to recapture that wonderful, puzzleful, “up north” weekend, I set up Papa’s old card table in the living room and got out a puzzle. My six-year-old son also loves puzzles. We puzzled together and soon we were done, very soon. I could see his spacial mind working, and he and I seemed to have the same sense of satisfaction when making those significant connections – he would say “I got one”, and I still did the tap-tap-tap thing.
After admiring our completed puzzle for a day, I decided to pull out another 1000 piece puzzle – dogs and cats – knowing that it was a little more difficult for us, all that similarly colored, subtly shaded fur. The both kids helped, but not nearly as much as with the last puzzle.
I was working this puzzle around the Ohio, Texas primaries. So, I’d turn on the CNN banter to see which way they were blowing, and to occupy the parts of my brain that weren’t puzzling. Puzzling + Politics = what happened to the past few hours. Add sick kids, and I found myself with a CNN primary puzzle time concoction that could have brought me down.
Four things saved me from being swallowed up: 1. My kids efforts to rally and go back to school after being homebound for several days, activating “mom” to tell them to settle down, compelling “mom” to snap out of it with concern for their chesty, phlemmy coughs, sore ears, and pink cheeks. 2. CNN’s efforts to sound and look more like Fox News with “cool” music, quicker cuts, and mouthiness unbecoming of (even) CNN. It’s weird. 3. No ceiling lighting; only ambient lighting. It was like working the puzzle by candlelight 4. This puzzle was hard, and all that dog and cat fur looked the same, especially by candlelight.
But, the day after that primary, and the last day the kids would be home from school, I finished the puzzle with my son at the table helping me to place those last, fast thirty or so pieces. And then we were done. We both ran our hands over the 1000 puzzle pieces and felt the cool, smooth bumps o’ pressed paper. Good job.
Then, I didn’t care what who was saying whatever about the what happened and what may happen. The mouthiness was just too annoying. I turned off the TV, we decided to leave the puzzle out until dad got home from his trip. And I went to make lunch.