Yikes. I appear to have, um, struck a nerve yesterday. I’m well aware that people do what they have to do; heck, I did the single mom thing for four years, so you don’t have to tell ME. I get it. I am just sometimes amazed and overwhelmed by everything that needs doing (and how much of what needs doing involves me living my life in the car).
I also feel like perhaps I wasn’t clear in pointing out that I can ONLY manage all of this, now, not just because of my flexible job, but also because of Otto. The kids have wanted to take piano for YEARS. It just seemed like too much, to add another activity, before. As for the dentist/orthodontist appointments, I don’t know that I’m willing to count those as optional activities. Sure, we have lots of appointments clustered up right now, but on the whole, things are manageable—they each do one sport and take piano lessons. And I thank Otto on a regular basis for helping out, and he says “That’s my job,” and then I melt a little, and then he totally gets lucky that night. He’s a smart man.
Anyway, this Love Thursday I thought I’d reflect on a few of the small reasons why I keep up with this madness, other than the whole being legally obligated to care for these creatures thing.
So, remember the whole staying up late to write her speech debacle with Chickadee? Nothing like waiting until the last minute. So I’d helped her with it—typing what she told me to, and gently making suggestions—and yesterday was the first round of competition.
In addition to having written her speech at the last minute, the winners of this round were to be determined by peer vote. Chickadee has made a couple of wonderful friends at school, but she often remarks on being “basically invisible,” which a little bit breaks my heart and a little bit reassures me that she’s not succumbing to pressure to run with the flashiest crowd. Regardless, my hopes for her being elected by her peers were… not high.
Yesterday I heard the bus pull up, and then there were thundering footsteps down the driveway. “I WON!” she yelled, bursting through the door and into my lap, thrusting a paper at me, “I WON I WON I WON! I GOT PICKED!” I clapped my hands and oohed and aahed and congratulated her, and gave her a big, tight hug.
“Thank you for helping, Mama,” she whispered in my ear.
Last night’s dinner was garlic-intensive. The children complained of the smell while I cooked, and even once I’d added the other ingredients, the scent was still heavy in the air.
“Why do you have to cook with all that GARLIC?” asked Monkey, as Otto put some food on his plate.
“It’s good for you!” answered Otto. “Plus, it keeps werewolves away!”
“Garlic doesn’t work on WEREWOLVES,” scoffed Monkey. “That’s VAMPIRES!”
“Oh,” said Otto. “Well… what keeps werewolves away?”
Monkey rolled his eyes, hardly able to believe this display of ignorance. “SILVERWARE!” he huffed. Because, dude, OBVIOUSLY.
Later in the meal, as I was apologizing for the lukewarm reception of this new recipe, Otto remarked, “No, I think it’s great that you experiment like this.”
“This isn’t an experiment,” declared Monkey. “What I call an experiment is when you cook something new and then when you eat it, YOU DIE.”
Once we stopped laughing, I couldn’t help commenting, “Well, MAYBE, but the problem with THAT kind of experiment is that you can only do it ONCE.”
Happy Love Thursday, everyone. May you constantly marvel at the forms love takes in your life—the touching AND the ridiculous.