Some Friday afternoons I think there's nothing better than holing up in my little office, the door slid closed, sitting in the window seat, music playing, making something new. The kids are settled, no homework, no busy schedule (usually), or at least there's typically a break in time before running back out on to the next thing. The still and calm are all I'm asking for, the time to myself, the time to breathe deep and settle in to the weekend, knowing the demands are temporarily are fewer, less urgent, or can just wait.
Things have changed of course, I'm not quite sure how I landed at exactly this place, but I know it happened gradually, largely without my being aware. Every once in a while I'm reminded of my age, my stage, where I really am. Working with many twenty-something-year-olds can be an ever-present reminder of how I fell asleep one day at 30, whirled around three times on the pregnancy merry-go-round which promptly spat me out 10 years later, back into another crew of twenty-something-year-olds who hold the mirror up to my age.
"What are you doing tonight?" one of them asked me one day at work, as if I had plans or something. (and on a weekday!)
I chuckled and started in, "Well, let's see, I get the kids off the bus, then it's homework, then one load of laundry after the next, you know the laundry never ends, then there's general child management which can involve nearly anything you want to name from conflict resolution to deep conversation to tickling to sports to friends and playdates or wiping tears, then meal preparation, lunch prep for the next day, back to the laundry, connecting with the husband, tending to household management, my business, life, dogs, chickens, the kids some more and then it's their bedtime and then more time with my husband and then my bedtime and it all starts over again the next day. Why, what are you doing?"
"Aggh! That sounds practically awful!" was his only response.
"Hmmm. Awful. It's never been awful. In fact, I wouldn't describe it ever as awful. It's really all I've ever wanted and all I still want. I love my family. I wouldn't trade it for anything. That's just the way things are." he was dumbstruck.
And I realize how thankful I am for that merry-go-round and how astonished I am at how it works its magic. If he's lucky, he'll step foot onto his own one day and he won't know what happened and that's probably the way it's really supposed to be, that is if you're very, very lucky.