7:20 am, the phone rings and it’s Ivan. “Can you come get me? I missed the bus.” “Sure, I’ll be there in a bit, start walking.”
Ivan slept at his Dad’s last night, just a mile down the street from my house.
I finish my tea, throw my books in a bag and head out. It’s super foggy and cold, as is often the case here in the valley, in the morning. I drive east. Emerging from the silvery fog, I see the improbable silhouette of a person, tall and wide, wearing a long coat and a top hat, walking along the road towards me, like some Dickensonian hitchhiker. The hitchhiker is Ivan.
On Sunday we went hat shopping. Ivan needed a winter hat and wanted to pick it out himself. We went to a little shop in San Anselmo called “The Vintage Flamingo”. A friend of Ivan’s had got a cool hat from there, one of those fur-rimmed Russian style hats. They were out of furry Russian hats, but the top hat caught Ivan’s eye. Black wool. They had it in an Extra-Large. I told him I’d get it for him as his Christmas present, if he was sure that was what he wanted. He was sure. Later that day, after dashing through the rain in his new hat, he said to me “my new hat serves me well”.
This morning when he got in the car he asked if we could stop by my house so he could change his shoes. He had taken a shortcut by wading across the creek to try and make the bus. He was soaked from the knees down. While he changed his pants, socks and shoes, I made him a cup of tea, which he drank on our way to school. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Mom”. He made my day.