Tuesday came again. I knew it would.
Tuesday- close enough to the start of the week, but not dreaded Monday. A day to feel unhindered, creative and hopeful.
Jean Valjean’s favourite day. A day to have a child ‘full of grace’. Tiv’s day, from the god Tiwaz, ‘to shine’. Possibilities.
And the day I met you.
It was a Tuesday the first time your wrinkled fingers curled around mine- miniature versions of my own, your grandfather’s and who knows before that. The day you took your first breath, separate from me- a new beginning for us both. The day life was genuinely full.
It was a Tuesday that I startled when you opened your eyes, and perfect discs’ of tawny-grey oak were gazing at me instead of cornflower blue. And the same later when the third middle-aged woman that afternoon said that your eight-month-old smiled brightened her day. No wonder the yellow of sunshine is your favourite colour.
There were summery Tuesdays spent scrunching toes like baby caterpillar’s in the sand and leaping onto sandcastles. On Tuesdays in autumn, we collected crimson and hazel leaves for artworks and cuddled hot chocolates. During winter, you were cozy beneath grandma’s knitting, and by spring, one Tuesday, we gathered a posy of daisies and forget-me-nots for Daddy.
Tuesdays were swimming days. Mornings of you floating on your back, pretending to sleep, heavy-headed while singing ‘while all the cows were sleeping…’ And years later, driving to pick up dinner as you were ravenous after swimming laps.
Sport’s days, art days and home economics days were Tuesdays. Your creations and achievements were cherished because they came from within you. Your sense of self was not only moulded through numbered ribbons, carved wooden rabbits and gooey chocolate brownies, but by the uniqueness and loyalty of friends, plus, hopefully, knowing that I would be there no matter what.
Tuesdays: Mars’ day. Unlucky for some and related to war and death. It was the day you lit a candle to say goodbye to our loyal fur baby. I wonder if your tears blurred the flame as mine did? A day we rushed to the fridge for an ice pack when the wooden chopping board crushed your toe. Or the day I held your hand when your closest friend moved away. Your
slender fingers, almost the length of mine. How you had grown. How I had grown because of you.
Last Tuesday, your room became empty. The rusty red of Mars found our eyes that day. Sunshine is still your favourite colour, leaking from your soul, brightening people’s lives and your own home.
I have my own Tuesdays now- creative ones, cloudy ones, lazy ones and cheerful ones.
They still give an aura of possibilities, especially the Tuesdays I spend with you.
Written for Australian Writers' Centre Furious Fiction, February 2019.