Skip to main content

Days like this, mama said

I know you don't really have time to read this, my fellow adventurers, because I sure as heck don't have time to write it. After all, it's September, and with September comes school and activities and obligations and all that rush-rush-rush-we're-having-fun stuff.

Consider today's schedule, for example:

5:00 am: Wake up, sort of.

5:30 am: YMCA workout; chat quickly with friend; freak out a bit when I realize I forgot flip-flops for shower; wash, dress, put on make-up, sort of.

7:30 am: Get to work, eat oatmeal, make coffee for everyone who arrives an hour or more after me.

9:30 am: Finally make it through the 52 urgent e-mails in my inbox that arrived overnight; respond to some, put off others.

10:00 to 3:45 pm: Work feverishly on my professional to-do list, without really accomplishing much besides adding more to my to-do list, and gulping down a ham sandwich at my desk between meetings.

4:30 pm: Pick up Zippy from day care; apologize (again) to his friend's mom for the hitting.

4:45 pm: Pick up Happy from art class at school; chase both boys around hallways; pull Zippy away from fish tank while he's kicking me repeatedly in the thighs and stomach; pretend like I'm not fuming because I don't want the judgy stares from other parents.

5:00 pm: Arrive home; supervise hand-washing, homework, snacking, clothes-changing; throw chicken strips in the oven; hope that serving boxed mac-n-cheese again isn't causing major damage.

5:30 pm: Gobble down "dinner" so fast that it sits like a rock in my belly; notice that even the children are tired of mac-n-cheese.

6:00 pm: Hustle the monkeys into the car and drive to flag football practice.

6:15 pm: Meet Coach Honey at flag football practice; watch all my boys run around smiling and enjoy the chilly fall air on my face; chat with another mommy who actually had baseball practice before football practice, marvel at her ability to still be smiling and pleasant and conversational -- and then love her even more when I see her speak through clenched teeth to her 4-year-old because I see she's really just like me, with thin patience but good intentions.

7:30 pm: Wrestle Zippy -- actually, physically wrestle him -- into diaper, pajamas, and bed, then watch as the magic binky-blankie-smoochy combo turns him into the most beautiful, cuddly angel-baby I've ever seen.

7:45 pm: Listen to Happy reading aloud for his assigned 15 minutes, thinking about how this is my very favorite 15 minutes of ever day.

8:20 pm: Say prayers, give kisses, watch Happy completely zonk out with a teeny smile on his still-suntanned face.

8:30 pm: Eat ice cream while conducting the nightly bullet-point conversation with Honey, snuggled on the couch in front of our new favorite show, Game of Thrones.

9:30 pm: Wash face, brush teeth, pluck TWO gnarly ghost-white hairs from the center of my hairline; study white hairs for a moment, wondering how they appeared so suddenly and whether the entire back of my head is gray and I just don't know it because I can't see that part of my body.

9:45 pm: Pass out with my feet on Honey's lap, thankful for this beautiful, healthy family; thankful that we made it through yet another hectic day with smiles and grace; and thankful that it's Wednesday and there's only one more hectic day this week.


Popular posts from this blog

Grace happens

Today Honey's roommate in room 364 at Maine Medical Center was discharged. Some other day I'll tell you about why Honey is in the hospital again, but this story is about the roommate because it's way more interesting. Let's call him Elton, because all I really know about him is he plays guitar in an Elton John tribute band and he's originally from the very northern part of England, bordering Scotland. (Or as Honey described it, "that place in England where the Roman Empire decided, nope, those Celts are crazy, and put up a wall.")

Elton was in room 364 before Honey arrived, and what struck me immediately, besides his delightful accent and soothing Liam-Neeson-esque voice, was his gentle, good-natured manner. He was going through heck from a botched surgery and compartment syndrome - pain and gore and fear of losing the use of his dominant hand - yet he spoke kindly and softly to every person who came into his room. Every time a nurse walked in, Elton gree…

Math lessons

I was really great at school as a kid...but I'm really lousy at school as a parent. And I was reminded once again of this while sitting at my son's conference yesterday.

Seventh grade has been hard on all of us. Beyond the obvious physical changes -- Happy has grown at least 5" since this summer and now looks me in the eye (yeah, remember I'm super tall!), his voice is weird, he can't get out of his own way -- we're all trying to navigate his ever-changing need for independence. His teachers want him to take more responsibility for his learning, which in theory sounds like a great plan for all kids at this age; they have to not only learn how to learn but also learn how to advocate for their learning.

In reality, though, when you're the world's most laid-back 12-almost-13-year-old who really only wants to listen to music, play drums, video games, and action figures, taking responsibility and advocating for your learning is not highest priority. In fact…

Happy curls?

I dreaded the passing of the peace each Sunday when I was a little girl. Every week the old church ladies would comment about my hair...
    "Shirley Temple curls!" they cooed; I didn't know who Shirley Temple was.
    "So soft!" they petted; I didn't want their wrinkly, gnarled fingers on my head.
    "I pay a lot of money to have hair like yours!" they exclaimed; I couldn't figure out why anyone would pay money for frizzy, fluffy, brillo-pad hair.

I hated my curls. I felt embarrassed by my hair -- it was short, kinky, cut badly -- quite different from the long straight hair my friends all wore at the time in my life when I just wanted to fit in. Oh, how I wanted a ponytail! Or a braid my hair on a Sunday morning with ribbons hanging down, that was a dream.

Today during the passing of the peace, I found myself next to one of the older ladies in our church. Every week I marvel at her elegance, the way the dresses, the slow and grace…