It is morning. My son just came downstairs and is sitting one room away, on the couch with his dad. I’m in bed. Computer on lap. The birds that woke me an hour ago aren’t singing anymore. I can hear the sports news from the TV in the other room. The recap of last night’s Celtics game, which I managed to stay up too late to watch. (They won.) (I’m tired.)
Can you picture this life? My life? This small scene, where I haven’t even introduced all of the characters yet? (Two daughters, upstairs asleep. A sister an hour away in Connecticut. A brother a day-and-a-half drive away in Colorado. A mother, this morning waking up in a hotel room in the Adirondacks, a getaway to celebrate her birthday.) Where I haven’t even told you about the oversized sweatshirt I threw on over my PJ T-shirt because it’s COLD this morning? Or the white, wrinkled duvet cover that I have pulled up almost to my chin. (Very cold!)
Oh, now I hear the “beep beep” of Road Runner. (Or maybe it’s “mee-meep?”) Which brings me back to Colorado and the road trip to get there and my brother, who used to watch these cartoons 30 years ago. He, too, was the first child to get up in the house. Is there something about boys? (Sarah, help me out here.) And how is it that the sound of a cartoon coming from a TV a few feet away can bring my mind three decades back, where I see my brother sitting on the floor of our living room in Oneonta, hunched over a cereal bowl, slurping Cheerios and giggling like Woody Woodpecker himself?
This isn’t what I pictured writing today. But now it’s down to the wire. Those daughters will be awake soon. Sweetie will bring me my coffee. (Picture this: He will walk slowly into the room, my favorite coffee mug in hand. I will watch him navigate the inevitable laundry basket at the foot of the bed, the piles of books on the floor beside me. I will see the steam from the mug. He will walk around to my side of the bed and say, “Careful. It’s full.” He will grin. Yes, grin. Our eyes will meet. I will thank him. The coffee will be hot. And perfect. I will set it beside me on the coaster on the bookshelf that serves as a bedside table of sorts, too. I will read or write or just sit in bed, smelling that coffee until I get up in just a few minutes.)
The day will start in full. It is my day to make lunches, take the kids to school. I have potato leek soup to put in the Crock-Pot, bread to set out to rise. I have work to check in with and, no doubt, laundry that I should do. I have a 3-year-old to spend time with. Puzzles, maybe. Or Play-Doh. Later I will pick up the kids, let them stay at the school playground a bit to run off some energy. I will take my son to his drum lesson, and while he’s with his teacher I will take a walk around what turns out the neighborhood we lived in for a short time when he was a baby. We will run a quick errand after his lesson–a birthday present to purchase for a friend, an ingredient needed for dinner. It doesn’t matter. My son just likes to extend our time together. He never wants to go straight home after his drum lesson, and so I know to plan on a quick errand. We will end up at home, though, where we will eat dinner. The bread out of the oven, the soup turned down to low.
As I sit in bed before the day has begun in full, loud force, I can imagine the big picture in my mind but I cannot know the details until they occur. Maybe we will be out of cream, and the coffee will be milky today. Maybe there will be an argument over who knocked over the Lego supermarket, built two days ago by my daughters. Maybe there will be a note sent home from school about a field trip, or a notice from the library that a requested book is in. (Flat Stanley. We have been waiting for you for a LONG time!)
Surely there will be laughter (along with the Lego quarrel). And lots of noise. And smiles. And children competing with each other for my attention and standing in my way in the kitchen while I’m trying to fix a meal or get a snack or do the dishes.
Today is a day. Still new right now. I didn’t intend to paint you a word picture of it as I imagine it to be. And it certainly might turn out to be a different kind of day, just as this is a much different Five for Five “pictures” post than I imagined myself writing. There might be surprises. (There are always surprises.) But these are the words, and this is what came in the few minutes I left for myself to write. This will have to do. Now it’s time to get on with Wednesday.
(Oh, sitting here, having written that paragraph about coffee? I just reached for it beside me! It’s earlier than usual, though. The coffee has yet to be made. Ah, the power of imagination.)
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Jen Writes, three kids