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12 months ago

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Photo: This little goofball… I wanted to take a nice candid photo of him watching the fire, and he immediately starts striking a pose. I was like, “No! Ignore me!” and he just couldn’t. So you get the benefit, I guess. Here’s my baby not looking at the fire.


After a week of extreme adulting, The Husband and I woke up on Saturday morning and made a commitment to do pretty much nothing. I had him build a fire and sat beside it with my knitting needles and a beer all day long. It was the perfect day. The boys romped around the yard, pumping our rain barrel almost dry with their water-based misadventures. (“Aren’t ya’ll cold? It’s too cold for water play!” I was always answered with a simultaneous, incredulous “No way!“) They got perfectly muddy and leafy and sandy and gross and they loved every single second of it. The best part for them was that I didn’t care. “Get as dirty as you want,” I said with a shrug. “We ain’t goin’ anywhere.” It was music to their ears! They enjoyed it to the fullest. The Husband decided to repaint our flower boxes, which you might think is work, but it isn’t for him. He merrily coated the boxes with simple white paint, sweeping the paint brush back and forth with luxuriant ease.

Sunday brought back the buzz of suburban family over-scheduling. Sunday school, adult formation, actual church service, then a quick lunch, then the boys were off to a Boy Scouts hike. I was here making that meatball recipe which was a whole hell of a lot of work for only minimal payoff. Our day of restful non-adulting (seriously, we roasted hot dogs with our feet up. No plates. We were obscenely lazy. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it! ) was rewarded with the revelation that we have a dishwasher that no longer produces hot water or dries dishes. My engineer husband can’t fix it. We’re gonna have to get a dude.

I lamented to Mom, who was very kind to me. “It’s just how owning a home goes. You pray it doesn’t come in threes, but sometimes it does.” She told me tales of woe from my childhood home, where the plumbing was notoriously bad (I knew that), but it turns out the oven was, too (a surprise to me!). “And you do what you have to do. You need a dishwasher, Kyra,” she reminded me.

I had been flirting with the idea of maybe just going without the dishwasher for a while. At least until after Christmas. There is just so much else to do and pay for. We’ve gotta get the boiler serviced, Christmas is coming up. I’m not too proud to wash dishes. Lord knows I already have worn and calloused hands. The Husband isn’t so keen on the idea–mostly because he is the one who washes the dishes after dinner. I dunno… I’d be ok with switching around some duties and getting my hands wet if it meant the boys got all their Christmas wishes and everything ends up ok.

These are the times when Grandy used to say, “every young couple has had to go through stuff like this. Young parents make sacrifices. You aren’t the only one, dear.” It didn’t bring me the most comfort, but I knew that she was right. I’m humbled by the universality of it: all parents everywhere have to make choices; some easy, others challenging, and even some sacrificial. We make them thoughtfully and lovingly, knowing what it will mean for our children (even if they never quite fully know what we’ve done and even when they have no capacity to properly express some gratitude). Tough as it is, I’m grateful we aren’t alone in it.

In other news, I made a double-batch of wonderful pumpkin-spice playdough today that smells like heaven and then wrapped forty little balls of it into plastic bags for tomorrow’s halloween parties. I’ve gotta get up tomorrow and bake 40 gingerbread cookies shaped like pumpkins. Probably not the best idea to save it to the last minute like this, but we’re gonna work it out. Then the Halloween madness will commence! I hope you are looking forward to a fun, exhausting day. I think that when I’m retired and the boys have flown from the nest, I’m going to make Halloween week my annual “go on holiday” time. I’m must going to fully and totally opt out of all things Halloween. It’ll be amazing.

When I post on November 1st, it will be NaNoWriMo! I’m hoping I’ll have a fun surprise for you. Stay tuned! And have you signed up for my newsletter yet? I’m going to send out the first issue on Wednesday, too!

Until then, Happy Halloween and take care!

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