The last baby waves goodbye, Mr Potato Head's appendages go back in the box, the gold fish crackers are swept off the floor, high chair pushed up along the wall.
I choose a green glass. Vintage, 1070's.
Vodka, and kahlua.
The house looks like it belongs to adults again. No one is pulling on my pant leg. The sippy cups are in the dishwasher and no one is trying on my 24 hour lipstick.
But my head is not entirely at rest.
Do I stay here in the bright lights of home sweet, restful and warm home?
Do I allow myself the leisure to sit at my keypad and wait to see what it is that my brain wants to say?
Sit while my ice melts, my muscles relax, my mind wanders? (Ahh the blissful luxury of the wandering mind!)
*Sigh* But there are the folks.... I need to see. If I put it off, will I be any less distracted and busy tomorrow and the tomorrow that follows? Papa is not as he was. Time is not on our side. And sweet mom. Who wouldn't want to be with her? Funny and spry. Tough and kind, my mother.
I am taking the boys sledding tomorrow. I am. Really and truly, I will. I've still not forgiven myself for not doing so at Christmas break on that one day that wasn't so cold to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
And there are the errands- deposits to be made, bills to pay, snow pants and lasagna noodles to be bought, the wrong stuff we bought last week to be returned....
Oh. And someone keyed the side of our car. That new car that we bought, the only car we ever bought new. Should probably look into fixing that.... and the oil should be attended to. The block heater.
It is quiet here. The boys are playing video games, Jane is at work. I have the cats, the dog, the house.
But my heart is restless, and I worry.
Friday is here with its freedoms and choices and I must be wise.
The day will come when I have fewer options. When the boys are gone, and daddy's body has finally said "enough". When it will be hard to figure out how to buy groceries for only two,
My mother always said that life is backwards. When you are young and have babies you are tired beyond words. You crave sleep and never get enough. Then the babies grow up and your body grows old and is says- I have no need of sleep! And you spend half your nights lying awake waiting for the morning when no pressures or babies greet you.
The work week is finally over.
In my forties, I find myself in the sandwich. Aging parents on one side, and a growing up family on the other. Yet, on the weekends, its my friends that I crave. I want that connection, the meeting of the hearts and minds, the normalizing of parental stress. I want breakfast at Stella's, coffee at Portage McDonalds, wine in the cabin. I want to leave this house, drive in silence, meet with my women.
But still, there's my mom, and dad, the girls, the boys.
The house, the car.
All of life, all of it good.
And I am restless
worried that my choices may end in regret.
I imagine someone might suggest balance- and I want to ask-
and tonight? what if tomorrow I don't have the same choices as I do, this