I know, I know.
Not all of you voted for this topic. Some of you wanted big family dinners, and I promise to get to them soon. Like, this week soon.
But that topic takes work, and dear internets, I am weary. My bod is sore from the soccer game, and I decided that because today was the day before Halloween, it'd be a good time to actually tie dye the shirts that I bought for my kids to wear. They are allowed to dress down - i.e. not wear uniforms - and I bought shirts and black/orange/red dyes about two months ago. I just, um, never did them. So today was the day. I also completed an order for my mother, and did two watermelon dresses as a donation for the auction at school this week. I hope people bid on them - how embarrassed I'll be if they have to give them back to me.
I was faithful to my exercise, though.
Today was neat.
It was Gabe's last soccer practice, and the coach wanted to mix it up a bit. We had a kids against parents soccer game.
Man, that was fun.
I wanted to play in the women's league this fall, but for various reasons I was unable to sign up.
Today I took my oldest son and my other son and dropped them off at a campout. I didn't stay - I don't camp.
As in, ever. As in, not ever, no way, no how.
I like my bed and I like my pillow, and I like my very clean bathroom.
Because I wasn't staying, my boys couldn't sleep over. So they did the hikes and such. It was Gabe's troop and Nik is a den chief - he helps out. All was good. I had to go back and pick them up at 8. It was 25 miles to get to the campground - about 45 minutes. I packed up the other kids and we drove out there. When we got to the campground, we parked and walked up to the site.
"Whaddja do all day?" my oldest asked me.
"Nothing really." I answered.
For some reason, I didn't sleep well last night. I didn't go to bed until midnight, and I was abruptly startled from a sound sleep at 3:14. I have NO idea what woke me, I was just AWAKE. I think I was just beyond wiped out from the stress of the day. A wakeful state that I rested in until 5:00, at which point I fell back to sleep. When my alarm went off at 6:03 - not 6:00, or 6:05, don't ask me why I set it for such a weird time - my body didn't want to rise. After I delivered all of the kids to school, I came home to work out. I was already dressed in my yoga gear and planned to do two cd's from the set that The Hubster bought me - Turbo Jam.
Slowly and intently.
Today was the funeral. The saddest thing I think I've ever seen. When the bagpipes began wailing "Amazing Grace", and the father stood up with his four sons and they made a huddle, resting their hands on the coffin, I lost it. My eyes still hurt, 10 hours later.
But then I had to come home, and drop back into my own little life. Arrival at my house brought this to my eyes:
Which has been in my foyer for THREE days. Do you know how hard it is to avoid the front door of your house? Because, as you can see if you enlarge the picture, the ladder touches the steps. Therefore, if you want to go upstairs, or, even, to answer the front door, you have to walk under the ladder. And, um, I'm not superstitious.
Yeah, really, I'm not. But put something like this in the front of me and I just.can't.walk.under.it.
I love life.
A woman at my church died this week. A young woman with children my own children's ages. Her children are the same ages as mine. Mary was my contemporary. She had minor surgery almost two years ago and had a reaction to the anesthesia, causing her to have a stroke and massive brain trauma. She had been in a coma in a nursing home, and she began to experience system wide organ failure last week. She passed on Monday.
I've been so sad about her death this week. Thoughts of the parallels in our lives have haunted me.
My due date was 10-11-99.
At my 36 week checkup, I was sent home with the news that I was 4 centimers dilated and 100% effaced. In the words of the doctor, "You could have this baby ANY TIME!" I went home and cleaned.
Same scenario at week 37,38, 39, 40, 41, and finally at 42 she had mercy on me and I was scheduled for induction on 10-25-99. I went to the hospital at 8:30 and was hooked up to pitocin with NO drugs, thank you very much. 6 hours later, while the Louis Armstrong song What a wonderful world played, out came a blond haired, blue eyed 7 pound 6.5 ounce little boy. We named him Gabriel.
Oh, can I be an idiot.
In fact, there are several circumstances that come to mind. When I was driving to school for pick up this afternoon, I could hardly write fast enough at the stop lights to get it all down. Every time that I began to write one down, another would jump into my brain. For example:
I bought Maury's gourmet cookie dough while I was visiting a friend in NJ. Really, really yummy, organic cookie dough. Seriously, the very best EVAH, and I'd totally pay someone to ship it to me. (I've brought it back in the plane with me from Chicago and NY.) We went to her house to bake it, and I sliced the gingerbread log really thinly and slid the pan into the oven. She asked me how long to set the timer, and, with more than a touch of asperity, I informed her that I cook by scent and not by time. Well, this time I failed the old "cook by scent" challenge and ended up burning the cookies beyond recognition. In fact, I set off her smoke alarm. Exactly what scent was I looking for?
When my third child was 15 months old, we had a very lean year. Sales were off, and, The Hubster being a commissioned sales person, money was tight for us. Friends of our family owned a florist business, and they offered me a job delivering flowers. It didn't pay much, $3.50 a delivery, with no guarantees. Some days I only had one delivery; others, a dozen or more. But it was money, I could take my two little ones who weren't yet in school, and it was during the day, when my oldest was in school. I could use my own van so that my girls didn't need to be on a strange car, and I didn't have to move car seats.
It wasn't difficult work, in that I didn't have to lift heavy things. I didn't sweat and I really didn't deal with other people. It was hard in that every single delivery I had to unbuckle the two car seats. take the girls into businesses with me, and then convince them to rebuckle. It was hard work in that I criss crossed my city and two others, often having to double back on myself during a late order. It was difficult work in that I couldn't count on a certain amount of money, and I was at the whim of strangers I'd never met who had placed an order for a delivery. But, it was grocery money most weeks, and gas money, and diaper money, and I needed it at that time.
I tried as hard as I could to be nice to everyone when I delivered the flowers. A smile, a greeting, a compliment - I tried with every customer. There was one customer that sticks out in my mind to this day, 8 years later.