So, I’ve noticed a habit that I have when I’m about to dump out a bunch of thoughts onto my keyboard. I start the dump with “So,”…
In my head I start to form the sentences that will illustrate just how I’m feeling at a particular moment. Even those thoughts begin with a “so”. The so in my head is drawn out – not stretched into multiple syllables, but the “o” lingers on, and is followed with a sigh, and I take a breath and prepare myself to continue on again after the comma. The breaks in the pace of these days are few and far between, the size of that small little comma. Try as I might to keep things rolling along at an even keel – and not keel over in the process – these days are still so busy and require a certain level of multi-tasking from all parties to maintain some level of preparedness and civility.
Last week school began with little fanfare. I failed to even snap a photo of my fourth grader heading off for the day. She spent the prior week and a half camped out under my work desk with a book or an iPod, straddling that awkward mid-August gap between summer camps and school days. I was so ready for school to begin, and she was so ready to be anywhere but under that desk. We tried to ease the older one back into an earlier bedtime, we tried to wake a bit earlier and spend the extra time lingering over breakfast, cuddling on the couch, walking, rather than driving, to school. But still, there is whining, and blankets pulled back over the head. There is bickering at the sink, there are smudges of toothpaste across the countertop. Snacks are forgotten, and then socks, and later a violin. We don’t yet have the day to day ritual down. Tuesday. Violin Day. Morning Snack Day. Socks for Tennis Shoes Day. This is what my mornings are – they are not mornings of lingering breakfasts. They are days named by objects, objects in a list that changes daily just to keep me on my toes. Or perhaps to spite me. Yes, to spite me. I push the thirty-three pound child in the thirty-five pound stroller back up the hill to the house, and I wonder if I would choose to do this with any other load. Would I opt to push sixty-eight pounds of wheelbarrow in front of me – ten blocks down, then ten blocks up – minutes before heading into work clothes and then onto work? It’s cooler, a bit, but humid, and I’m sweaty from the exertion. I pull the stroller up onto the porch and discover the violin still resting in the bottom and I know that I will be late to work. Again.
I stayed up much too late last Friday night – first, icing cookies, and second, working off the icing buzz. It takes me the entire weekend to recover, and requires a short nap and falling asleep reading a book to my daughter in her bed. In my clothes. I feel so old as I wake up on Monday morning in the shorts I wore last night, and I realize that my Sunday to-do list has now merged into my Monday to-do list. It’s Tuesday now, and all I can do is dream about the three day weekend that is to come. I used to dream of running off with M to far flung places on secret vacations – just the two of us. Now I dream of secret vacations where we sleep until noon and follow that with an afternoon nap.
I am old, and dull, to have these dreams.