Today when I woke up, I didn’t have a workplace to go to. My fitbit alarm went off anyway at around 6:something. Adam brought me a cup of tea and left for work early, as he didn’t have to drag me along with him.
And then? I wandered outside in my PJs, following Adam to the car and taking Duncan’s thank you cards to the mail box. It was such a lovely morning. The weedy garden in front was in the shade. So I grabbed a gardening bin and sat down on the walkway and pulled weeds. A song came to mind — Loving Kindness — and so I sang quietly and plucked away. Then another — Morning Has Broken and In The Garden (I think).
And I thought, “Huh, maybe this is what I do when I am released.”
Then I went inside, after waking Berry up by testing the sprinklers in the back yard and having a chat through her bedroom window (It was probably my shrieks from getting doused by the cold water that did it).
I made breakfast for the kids and myself. I got us through the “get dressed, brush your teeth, make your bed, get out the door” routine to take Berry to the chiropractor by 9 a.m. Then we ran errands — a new suitcase for our trip at Target, a replacement sprinkler head from True Value, a pit stop at Dutch Brothers. And, during this, I put an end to at least a dozen arguments. I did, somehow, manage to get them quiet for long enough that we were duly rewarded by the stop at Dutch Brothers.
But we had a bit of a talk. “One of the good things about losing my job is that I get to spend more time with you guys. Please don’t argue the entire time.”
I’d forgotten how much incessant noise they make. Duncan seems to make constant sounds of one kind or another (many are word sounds, some are just…mouth sounds, grunting, I don’t know). And then there’s the bickering. And whining. It was so blissful when it stopped.
And I thought, “It’s good I’m spending more time with them. We can get some of this nonsense sorted out.” And also, “Have I become so disconnected that I don’t know what it’s appropriate to expect from these kids?” I mean, shouldn’t they be listening by now when I ask them to do something — like put on shoes? Are two-step instructions too complex still?
I feel like I’ve woken up after a long sleep. I’ve actually been really tired the last few days. I got a lot done the last week or so of work and, while my stomach was much happier with the impending release of stress, it wore me out. I was wiped out by the end of the day. This weekend I was low-energy, too. I put it down to the heat, but perhaps my body really does want to find a place of rest for a while.
This afternoon, I took Berry back to the chiropractor to see a different doctor for a different treatment. It looked at the potential emotional issues behind her constipation, bed wetting and enuresis. That was…hard. Nothing unexpected. But to hear your 6-year-old essentially say that she felt vulnerable and afraid that there would be no one to look after her after her grandmother died (my mum) is difficult. But she did great! She is an eloquent child.
After, we sat together in the parking lot for a while talking about it.
And I thought, “Oh, I am where I need to be. Here and present for my child. Meeting her needs.”
And then she tried to talk me into getting a dog so that she’d have an animal to cuddle when she feels unsafe. (Eloquent and smart, that one.) She started figuring it all out, who would take care of it, where we could get it, where it would sleep, etc. She told me she was trying to find solutions.
As a reward for her awesomeness, I gave her a surprise present when we got home. I like to keep little pressies hidden away for these moments. This one was a balloon animal kit — you know, the long skinny balloons and the little pump.
It seemed like a good idea. The kids LOVE balloon animals. Only one problem: I’m afraid of balloons.
(As a teen, a friend and I did odd jobs at a tourist place in Barbados called The Beach Club. This often included helping get things ready for events, like New Years Eve. One year we had to blow up an entire room with helium balloons and then tie strings on them to decorate the place. It was claustrophobic. And the balloons kept popping. I still shudder whenever anyone squeezes a balloon.)
So of course, I had to make the balloon animals and creations. Which was OK. Until the first one popped. Then I needed a break. Berry eventually begged me to try again. Which was also fine (although I cringed and screwed up my face while twisting the damn things together).
“Aha!” I thought. “I’m facing my fears!”
I was quite pleased with myself until the next balloon popped and I packed it in.
Day One is clearly too soon to tell what my life looks like in its resting position. But if it involves some gardening in the cool hours, singing songs that move me, taking care of my family and spending time with the kiddos while still keeping my mind active in an income-producing way, it’s good.
I’m really glad for the time to figure it out.