Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beyond the Wall

I watched early this morning with coffee in hand and babies still asleep, as my large cat, Simon, relaxed on our screened-in back porch. I don't let my cats, Simon and Joon, go outside, so the porch is the closest to freedom as they can get. 20 lbs was sprawled out on the flagstone floor just beside the right end of the wicker loveseat. Enjoying his morning breath of fresh, humid air, he lay anticipating a bug, chipmunk, or bird to interrupt his otherwise lazy stance. I watched him in anticipation that his hunting skills would kick in, but found myself feeling a bit sad for him. A large, white, PVC fence was added to our landscape about 4 years ago and pretty much blocks any view that Simon and Joon used to have. It is a giant wall. The giant wall encompasses the length of our 2 foot backyard and the alley side, concrete patio. The front of the yard and park-like other side creates the "white-picket fence" illusion. I keep thinking that I need to build some sort of perch for the cats, but the porch is currently screened 10 feet, from top to bottom. Simon has been know to bust through the weathered screen and escape, leaving us with having to put up a baby gate and even duct tape just so he wouldn't ruin more of the tattered screen. The six foot fence doesn't seem to bother Simon or keep him from enjoying his lackadaisical catnaps. Maybe it is just me. Knowing that what is beyond the fence is something that he is missing.

We all have walls. Whether it is trying to see beyond them, climb over them, or just wonder why it has to block the view. I wish that I could build a perch for Alden. My arms get weary from holding him up to look over the wall. Sometimes I feel that my arms get so weak that they are going to collapse, dropping him, and leaving him helplessly wondering what is beyond the wall. Somehow, I find a kind of superhero strength, reaching him way over my head to give him the best view. Does he see it? Does he understand it? Does he wonder? Alden's wall may just be my wall, knowing that what is beyond it is something that I feel he is missing. Maybe he is missing nothing at all and has the most spectacular view that we could only imagine. What I do know, is that his view is just very different. I believe that as a mom, we just try to make it easier for our children to climb over their walls, or build a perch for them to safely view what is beyond. We would do anything to make life a bit easier for them. Alden's wall my be translucent to him, discovering the clarity to which he can relate, but to me, I see stone, blocking my view for him. My arms get weary, my heart heavy, and my mind drained as to how to unobstruct his view.

Simon doesn't seem to mind the 6 foot fence blocking what is beyond, but seems to relish in his screened-in spendor. However, I still want to build him a perch.