My day started at 6:15 when Ursa Minor’s more impatient “I’m awake” sounds started over the monitor. I baked my usual Friday morning breakfast muffins and served them to my three leading men. I greeted the Peapod driver who delivered my groceries and put them away. I placated my sons with Sesame Street and Word World while I prepared the apartment for vacuuming, stripped the beds for washing, and prepared the bathrooms for scrubbing. I took the boys out for a walk, where they promptly found a mud puddle to jump in, splash in, crawl in, sit in, and even managed to get mud into their hair. I took many pictures of this disaster. I collected the mail and happily greeted neighbors (both pleasant and grumpy). I gave my sons a bath before feeding them lunch. I moved all of the toys in the apartment to the toy area so as to prepare it for vacuuming. I gave the boys milk and read them three books before putting them down for a nap. I prepared bread for this weekend’s french toast and put it on my stove for its first rise. I marinated the chicken for tonight’s dinner and froze the rest of the chicken parts that I bought for future dinners.
and now finally, I’m sitting, with a bowl of pasta in my lap. It’s a little past 2:30.
My Facebook feed is full of congratulations: “It’s a 3-day weekend!” some say. “It’s a 4-day weekend!” others say. “TGIF” says everyone else. Their weeks are at an end. How lucky they are.
I recognize that I’m lucky too. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to do all that I’ve done today for my boys. To look at my muddy sons and simply shake my head and chuckle is a blessing. They’re adorable and sweet, and they were so damned muddy. Lord.
But I’m also so jealous. Tomorrow is Saturday. Tomorrow is another day. There is no weekend for me. There won’t be another weekend for me for the next few years.
And yes, my husband will be home this weekend. He’ll help by distracting the boys while I carry on the things that need to be done: 3 meals, 2 loads of laundry, and all of the other things that need to happen at bare minimum. Most likely there will be boo-boos, and time outs, and grumpy pouts, probably a disagreement with the Husband about something, a feeling of resentment as I see him still in bed while I get up in the 6 o’clock hour to go get the kids.. Not to mention the undoing of whatever good lessons and routines I’ve mastered over the week while he’s at work. I love my husband, and I love when he’s home, but his presence doesn’t signify less work. It signifies different work.
Weekends are part of the week.
My weeks are beautiful, yet challenging, but mostly beautiful. I’m grateful for them, and understand that, at some point, these weeks will be numbered. One day, I’m going have to start working again, giving up the beautiful ebb and flow of these early days of our family’s life. Though having another baby, something that I’ve decided that I want after all, might extend my time here at home by a little bit longer, the inevitability is still there: These days will end. My children will grow. They will turn into “big kids” and adolescents, and eventually, with the blessings of the Good Lord, they’ll become healthy and independent adults. Relative to those times in their lives, the times when they will not need me to do what I’m doing now, this time is unbearably precious. Precious beyond words. Precious beyond comprehension.
And so I write with an aching back and a yearning to shower and a prayer these these boys will sleep for another hour. I write with the bitter acknowledgment that my stupid in-laws will be next week and they’ll drive me crazy. I write knowing that there is no beach in my weekend plans, nor big road trip to some place awesome. I don’t even think I’m going to get a beer this weekend.
But I also write humble and grateful. For the sweet moments, like two little boys having the time of their lives in a puddle on a drizzly Friday.
To you amazing women in the trenches with me–working, not working, or something in between–Happy Friday to you. Happy not-so-end-of-the-week to you. Congratulations on completing another 7 days of a non-stop cycle. You are amazing.