…at lightening speed. Between all the comings and goings, sippy cup washings, emptying of trash cans, reheating of frozen dinners, rewatchings of Frozen movies, chasing of little ones, sorting of orphan bags of socks (why do we repeatedly have more orphans than matches!?!?!?) and washing and rewashings of sandy, sweaty, markered and sauced, pink and purple sparkled leggings and shirts I lose my rhythm. And not because I’m wholly present in my day, but because I’m holding fast to the end corners of my day that are constantly flying out from under me leaving me in a pool of balls that were not only dropped but typically not picked up in the first place. And when that happens it is hard to know where to turn an ear to hear any sort of cadence to begin again with. Do I go back and edit and post the holidays and days that were special enough to capture in the first place, or do I just start from today in hopes of not getting farther behind. And in the time it takes to ponder that, someone falls down, someone gets their hair tugged, someone forgets how to share, an email comes in that needs to be answered, the smell that I can’t quite identify becomes abundantly clear and in need of removal, the bills spill out from the to-be-paid drawer, the alarm clock goes off and the day begins again. Thankfully. And thankfully the pictures continue to exist for editing and posting years after the moments they captured existed to bring me back to the blessedly sweeter scent of the blueberries that got mashed onto the white shirt that the Quail insisted on wearing, the sight of the freckled grin of a newly minted seven year old wobbling on roller skates as she rounds the wooden rink and the feel of the babies hands as she reaches to be picked up because she has noticed that she isn’t getting quite as many snuggles as she used to a few months back when she nursed more frequently.
So how are we now? We’re a pig-tailed pre-schooler who talks in tiny sentences narrating her day as she races after her sisters demanding to be included in their game and is only interested in neh-neh and other side before being settled into her crib at night. We’re a 5 year old who now attempts to tell others in 2-3 word phrases about her friends, her day, her favorite shows and what her sisters did or didn’t share with her. She’s blissfully ensconced in a regular education kindergarten classroom after a sincerely calm year in 4k and a decidedly uneventful spring IEP where everyone concurred that she did well the previous year and remained on par academically with minimal behavioral concerns. We’re a proud second grader who is always asking when Sophie can sleep over and come play and when Girl Scouts will start up again and can we please, please, please go swimming and when are we going to go camping again and when are we going to the beach, and can you please put my hair up in 4 ponytails and then braid them together in the shape of a heart and oh-no- that’s not what I said I wanted Momma now you have to start over and can’t we have pancakes again and I want to watch Youtube versions of My Little Pony meets Frozen mash-ups and my sister won’t share the Ipad and I don’t want to wear that dress it makes me look fat, I only want to wear athletic clothes and Clemson gear and can I have a Barbie doll house for my birthday and I can’t sleep Momma can I crawl in the bed with you and can you please have another baby or can I please crawl back in and come again so that I can be the baby and no you can’t tell me what to do I make my own decisions and why do I always have to clean my room and sweep the porch and I’m gonna be President one day Momma and you all can come live in the White House with me and here’s the schedule I’ve made for my birthday party seven months from now.
And my freetime you ask? What about early morning and late night writings and maybe during your lunchtime? Well those times have been dedicated to other activities. Running in the mornings. Walking or yoga at lunchtime. And clean-up and then Netflix surfing in tandem with Lovey once the littles have settled their noggins after a second, third and often fourth attempt to get to stay up for another cheesestick, drink of water, cooler jammies, warmer jammies, sister too close to me, sister not sleeping next to me, scary monster in the closet thoughts, bad dreams, one more thing I should have told you about what we’re doing tomorrow.
In other words…beautiful, complicated, sad and lovely, overbooked, stripped-down bare, well-medicated, a few minutes late, paperwork strewn over the kitchen countertops, too small of a bathroom for 5 people insisting they all need to be in there at once, doorknobs falling off, paint and plaster peeling, washload buzzing, refusing to eat the spaghetti that Momma made a mere week after insisting they have some when Lisa made the same thing the week before, sand, marker, and Cheerio covered, in need of a run, a shower, a haircut, a dye-job, a trip to the library, Trader Joe’s, Target, a glass of Malbec, the next size up of clothes for each family member, to empty out the crib in the girl’s room so the baby-no-more can start sleeping in their rather than the pack-and-play in our room, maybe I’ll just spread some of the salted-caramel-cocoa-hazelnut spread on a slice of bread for dessert, ok I’m going to sleep, why the hell did I give up caffeine last spring… life.
So- how are you?
Awww. I am so happy to have read this. Seeing the photos of your family and your summer here and there has made me ache for some fun myself. To hear you describe it and all those small things that make up such bigness makes me smile. I love, love, love reading you. One of my very favorite glimpses into a familiar stranger’s life!