On Saturday the Fox Force Five went to a polo match, as you do.
For years my dad was very involved with Carpenter Place, a home in Wichita for deeply hurting girls. When they announced their inaugural Polo Cup, my dad offered to buy us tickets. And we all took him up on the deal.
But then we were very late. Very very late. Going into it, I knew we wouldn’t arrive on time; G’s football game was scheduled to start mid-morning and was a good drive away from the polo match. Then G’s game started almost an hour after it should have, my Google Maps navigation took me way out of the way (“I think we shouldn’t use Google Maps anymore.” -G), then the entire highway was shut down and rerouted through Wichita. Soooo we only made it to the final two of the six chukkers. But we did get to see some of the match, listen to the horses thunder down the field, the kids petted and put their handprints on the nicest horse I’ve ever been around, and my sister and I got to see people who were part of the church we were raised in.
And it was a beautiful day! Crisp, sunny weather.
Over and out.
So this stay-at-home-mom gig is totally kicking me in the butt. I’m just not sure what to do with myself anymore. Which begs the question that is the bane of all stay-at-home-moms: “What do you do all day?” Anymore I’m not really sure.
I could clean more, for sure, but I’m not going to. There is a point at which your house is clean enough and I’m not going to dust more often or vacuum more often just to have something to do. And I don’t have any hobbies because hobbies take money and then what will I do with what I create? Shuffle them around and clean around them? Blech.
So I’ve been hiding from my house. Baby Chickadee and I get together with friends, we go to MOPS, I’ve been to Goodwill two times in the past week, I’m writing this post at GoJoe’s, just to not be at home.
Two weeks ago I was having a pretty hard time with all of it. Trying to figure out how to spend my day and how to deal with the constant negotiations that is the life of a mother. Hubby and I made the decision a long time ago–and we often remind ourselves and each other on the days we get weary from the repercussions of said decision–to not run a military household; we want our kids to question our decisions when appropriate, we want them to question authority and not blindly follow instruction. But man is it exhausting.
I whined about it in my column a couple of Saturdays ago: Me and Sisyphus.
It’s better than it was two weeks ago. Somewhat. My husband encourages me to get out of the house, he listens when I’m exhausted and teary. I’m praying a lot, trying to figure out why this job I’m so lucky to have–with children who are funnier and kinder than I could have hoped for–is no longer exactly what I want. I hate feeling ungrateful.
Yesterday I heard this on NPR and got teary-eyed. It was a good, gentle slap in the face.
It’s been a dead parade
of hours since 5 AM
a march of the bland
with the meaningless and
I can think of nothing
I have done to merit
But now, at 8 pm,
I am bathing my son
in a tub filled with bubbles
and blue battleships,
the soapy water over
his Irish white skin
makes him glisten
like a glazed doughnut
and I should tell him
to stop splashing
but this is the first time
all day I have felt like living
so how can I scold
my boy who’s found joy
in something ordinary
as water? And when
I wash his hair
with Buzz Lightyear
closes his eyes and
smiles like a puppy
being petted as I massage
the sweet lotion into
his red curls and I know
this is one good thing
I have done with my life
this day that has waited
for this moment
of water on my sleeve
and soap on my nose
to turn emptiness
(One Good Thing by Edwin Romond)
I mean seriously, these kids are the good stuff. So at some point I’m going to get it together already.
A few weeks ago my husband declared that it was because of me the children shared all their words. (He was saying that we talk a lot.)
I nodded because he was totally right. “I know! I shouldn’t have talked to G and Little Missy all the time while they were babies.”
Because I did–I talked to them ALL THE TIME. As we drove in the car: “Look at the birdies! Do you guys see the trees?” As I did the laundry: “Yep, now I’m putting all the shirts in the dryer and then I’ll put all towels in the washer!” Too much excitement over the mundane, really. And now they overshare with me, all through the day. “I’ll be right back, I’m going to the bathroom!” “I’m going to go upstairs now!” I mean, we don’t need to share everything, you know?
“No, I mean they got it from you and your family.”
Which could also be true. My mom and sister and I explain every detail of every story we tell, we interrupt each other to get more detail of that last detail so that we understand every minutiae of every story.
“Oh…” I responded. “Yeah. You could be right on that.”
So whether my kids got it from the way they were raised or if it was written on their very genetic code, they talk a lot. There are lots of words in our house at all times. Baby Chickadee during the day with all her stories or G and Little Missy AND Baby Chickadee after school telling me all their stories at the same time, lapping over each other and interrupting each other to tell me more.
It is a lot of words.
And for someone who thoroughly enjoys stories, I find myself trying to hide from all the talking. But hiding from Baby Chickadee, encouraging her to play on her own, isn’t working so well lately. She’s pretty bossy.
All of this was kind of a long, roundabout introduction to the Saturday’s column, because I needed to give you some background on why her play is wearing me out: That’s more my speed.