Monday, September 14, 2009

All by myself!

Today is the day I've awaited since April. This is it.

This is the day Coyote goes to school, for three WHOLE hours! The house is mine. I have not had more than 15 collective hours alone since April. We've done some fun stuff and enclosed are photos of the last two weeks. But I have been feeling just a tad sorry for myself. Boo hoo.

This moment required extra finagling, but we are here. Huck has the day off, but I even wanted him gone. Although, to his credit, he does not wine, does not sit on my lap while I type, does not need me to wipe his bottom, and can reach the faucet himself, I still wanted him gone.

You may, along with countless others, also wonder what it is we stay-at-home moms do all day. We are wondering that ourselves. Days go by and we have NO idea where they went or what happened during them. But the house is still a mess and the kids are never done. If I wake up early to do something alone, my kids will wake up even earlier. I was once told that REAL moms wake up at 5. Real bitchy moms. Anyway, if I woke up at 5, my kids would wake up at 5:05am. NOTHING gained. The other thing about kids: they know when you're absorbed. You could aimlessly peruse the internet free from interruptions, but sit to write a note of condolences, or anything requiring your full attention, and they're on you! So your day consists of refusing to be absorbed by anything and constant interruptions. It's hard to have meaningful thoughts, conversations, meditations, or completions under these circumstances. For those of us who previously relished our echoing deep thoughts, this is a source of pain and suffering.

To hear me talk about kids, you'd think I'd have at least 20. But kids are like that new FeelReal tm temperature report: actual kids:2, feels like: 20. It's just that these skills don't seem to come naturally to me and every event first bewilders me, then requires research, and then I make the most difficult but loftiest choice in how to handle it. I make it hard. Especially not having a TV.

Recently, on a hot afternoon, I noticed that I was feeling momentarily like a depressed and bored homemaker. And so I asked my self, "Now that you've correctly classified these last few minutes, Sassy Sarajoy, what do depressed and bored homemakers do?" And a cloud opened above my head and a chorus of angels sang out "GIN AND TONIC!" Even though I knew it was the first step towards my birth-rite of overwhelmed-mother alcoholism (NOT my mom, but previous matriarchs in my line have retired to "pray" in their rooms every afternoon), I popped open the local Dry Fly gin. Good habits aren't made by just one doing, and neither are bad habits, right? Cleaning the kitchen was a nice, new sensation, and I didn't mind being interrupted for a game of Uno. It thoroughly defunked my vibe.

I've identified at least 35 different necessary alone times, like some mad-stay-at-home-scientist. These are the essential categories:
bill paying
music absorbing
bike riding
garden planning
zoning out
technology figuring out
treasure hunting

I believe this is a complete, unabridged list. I've done these with children crawling on me, but it's not as effective. Ever do the downward dog with children climbing up your legs? How 'bout some meditation with fisty-cuffs exploding in the next room? Ever try to zone out with your kids saying things like, "Mom? What are you looking at? Why do you always do that?"

So here it is: MY BIG DAY! I began by cleaning the kitchen, staining the porch, and doing laundry and then I thought: WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, WOMAN?! (I use woman here as a swear word). And so I promptly dove into the bubble bath and ate a huge tray of Capri Salad. And now here I am, squandering my luscious time on the internet. And I feel fine.

Except for one thing. Today is the birthday of my friend/former boss' daughter. She would have been maybe 30.

Not long before I met him, they were scuba diving on Orcas Island. And his daughter died that day, her mother's birthday, under the water off Rosario.

I was visiting my parents on Orcas, with my baby Blue. My mother returned from work, gray and tired. It had been a terrible day at the clinic and she related the story of a girl my sister's age and her untimely death.

Imagine our shock after my first week of work for B when I told him where my parents lived and he turn gray. And told me what happened. And I remembered the day perfectly. We had all sat in silence that night and I never forgot the first death of a child I heard of after I became a mother.

I've gone to the site. My family joined me once, at the spot, and we thought of her, on behalf of B who will likely never return to the San Juans. We dropped flowers into that deep, dark ocean.

And so he sends me this email today to remind me to hug my kids, on his daughter's Birthday, to hug them extra. But they're at school now.

Death is such a downer.

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