One day left of this cropped week --Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah -- Friday already in the morning! Tomorrow we'll attempt our first walk to school -- a mile up-ish hill. We'll see how they do...
The great news is that there have been no Monday morning stomach aches so far and no tears to the bus. My heart seems to be the most off-kilter and stiff to transition. Thankfully, theirs seem more like Gumby.
Some days I wonder how I'll survive parenting -- the changes, the bloomings, the stunning surprises of emerging people, the hundreds of ways we must release them, the daily push-and-pull, trial-and-error, the pain of the errors, the fun free play, the hefty responsibilities, the wiggling waggling act of balls flying through the air -- the wind from the rush of it, the thrill and the speed.
But this week the days have taken their time. I've hit tired, as happens, so have been reading aloud. I've come to think of books as scripts of kindness -- when I can't say anything nice, when my mouth is a landmine ready to blow, I read, and soon we find ourselves leaning against each other, together on the bed.
As Autumn comes, ripe with yellow change, I am going to break from blogging for the month in hopes of creating space for poems. It will be an experiment. But before that,
A September List of Likes:
*The Butler (worth $12 for a movie)
*The Wishing Chair -- my current script of kindness and sweet and fun
*A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller
(read this aloud with Ben -- scripts of kindness work with adults, too...)
*Maeve full-arm-ed waving at every stranger, mute and ignored, but full animation
*Bread & Wine, by Shauna Niequist -- per the author's suggestion, a group of friends and I had a dinner-book club through the month of August using her menus and questions at the back of the book-- fun
*glow in the dark pacifier -- I am not kidding when I tell you this is the best invention I've ever met. These things glow longer than any glow-in-the-dark item I've ever seen. Genius.
*A cocktail: The Sandbridge Swizzle (invented by my mother -- also genius)
32 oz cran-strawberry juice
44 oz ruby red
16 oz can margarita mix, frozen
32 oz seltzer
22 oz citrus rum
10 oz orange liqueur -- cointreau, grand marnier, triple sec
*toothpicks that make lunches happy
One of the top items on my September list of NOT-likes is dragging my kids (or myself or anyone) through indecision. Today, for example: the kids and I tried to leave the house for ONE HOUR to drive to a beach on the Chesapeake: packed water bottles, bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, snacks, shoes, pacifiers, change of clothes, and finally left the house -- without the stroller. A few miles away, I made a u-turn, spilled Maeve's bottle all over the car, somehow had no napkins in the glove box to clean it up, got home, man-handled the stroller into the car, started to drive back toward the highway and heard the-still-small-voice saying drop this overly ambitious plan and play at home today, made a u-turn to take us home, then shook off the-still-small-voice, made another u-turn and pulled onto the highway. Even on the entrance ramp, I realized it WAS too much and now too late in the day, that we'd tangle with rush hour and not have fun. I took the first exit and everyone cried.
We drove to my parents' empty house so Maeve could nap, and I collapsed on the nearest bed, too, while Silas and Eden disappeared with legos and crayons. I woke to Silas and Eden's loud voices saying family member's names and dragged myself up to tell them they were LOUD only to find them in my dad's office with his file cabinet drawer open reading aloud the file tabs, a few of which included our names.
You guys cannot play in here! Ever! This is Pop's office and those are his important files!!
But we love playing office in here.
This is not a play office! It's a real office!
Well, shrug, this is where we play office.
and sure enough, all the drawers were opened, pens out, stapler on the desk...
When Maeve woke, we rocked on the porch swing and then walked home. Silas and Eden busied themselves with an old bin of costumes, making cameos in wigs and giant shoes, laughing too hard to talk, while Maeve squawked like a parrot from her highchair.
The day wasn't what we'd wanted, an afternoon with friends, finding shark's teeth in the sand, digging and playing in bathing suits like it was one more day of summer; it ended up different with plans splatted and people coming apart at the seams (all of the people, really...). But the different day had a different end, and people even laughed. I'm reminded again -- so quick to forget -- to be grateful.