I'm in the same position as lo so many bloggers before me: somehow I have gone from posting twice weekly to twice monthly, or so it's starting to feel.
It used to be that life unfolded as a series of blog posts for me. Even as events were happening, I was writing about them in my mind, as a way to get through them if they were uncomfortable or to celebrate them if they were wonderful. Now, more and more, I just experience them, and after they are over, I have a hard time recalling what made them so special or so wretched.
This past weekend, for instance, is a case in point. It was lovely. We had dinner at my mom and stepdad's house with some family friends, and we all ate and drank quite a lot and laughed as Maddie and Riley tried to juggle, and it was one of those evenings where my wine glass always seemed to be full and the kids were at their cutest. We spent the night at my mom and stepdad's, and in the morning, we went to a local nursery and the kids planted bulbs and got balloons and then we were good suburban, whitewashed Americans and we had lunch at McDonald's before heading home for naptime.
During naptime, my father arrived, and we spent the rest of the weekend enjoying his company. He put the kids to bed on Saturday night while I went out for a couple of hours with my best friend, then on Sunday morning we all went to the zoo. Bats eating broccoli! A really gigantic elephant! Sunday afternoon was spent cooking, then eating dinner with friends and family.
See, lovely, but as blog fodder, dull as can be. As I've pointed out before, it's quite boring to lead an unremarkable and happy life.
I was struck this weekend by two things: (1) how great it is to have these kinds of days, which are exactly the kinds of days I'd imagined and for which I moved home; the joy of it all regularly exceeds my expectations, and (2) it's so much easier to enjoy and manage my role as a parent when I have regular help. I had help all weekend this past weekend, and it's no coincidence that the weekend was so great. This is elementary, of course, but sometimes I think that I exaggerate how much logistically simpler life with an extra set of hands can be. But no, I do not exaggerate. It's infinitely simpler. It just is.
Work is busy and stressful. In many ways, I am happy to have a job that can be demanding of me. Work is more enjoyable for me when I'm really engaged in what I'm doing. But it's exhausting to do more than show up and sit in a chair, which is mostly what I did as my old job. I find that, as a result, I'm even more protective of my personal time than I used to be. I need to be, so that I can be on the ball at work.
Maddie and Riley are flourishing. All of a sudden, Maddie is really into coloring. She wants to color and do "projects" all the time. She cuts up tons of paper and then glues the bits together and attaches things with stickers and presents me with "coupons" and "tickets" and various kinds of animals and objects. Riley loves to tinker and fix things. Maddie has become a huge fan of taking showers and will linger under the water for twenty minutes or more, just spinning around, drinking from the "rain," and washing her little plastic turtle, known as Baby Glowy. Riley wants to be a recycle bin for Halloween; Maddie wants to be a panda bear. We read books, books and more and more books. Sometimes they prefer to play alone rather than to have me play with them, which is a welcome relief and a slap in the face. Riley informed me yesterday that I do not pick out good clothes for him, and it's true: his outfits are much more creative than mine. Maddie is obsessed with wearing tights. They like soup of all kinds. I fed them broccoli and cheddar quiche + salad one night this weekend for dinner and squash soup, bread, and salad another night to hearty appetites. That felt good.
That's where we are, that's what we do. We had a fire in our fireplace over the weekend, and Riley said, so earnestly and so joyfully, "Oh, Mama, let's read by the fire!" Somehow, that sweet little sentence was so triumphant to me. It made me feel like I was doing something right.
I feel so full, but words fail.