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gifts.

April 27, 2012

There are whole stretches of days that we move through without a stumble, a slip up, a cross word or an interrupted night’s sleep, where we linger in each day’s new gift over breakfast together and connect before our days begin, and then there are weeks like this one, that had me sending text messages to my beloved on Thursday morning cheering us on with “it’s Thursday! One day closer to the weekend!” and then today, each of us sending a message, his via text, mine via facebook with the simple word “FRIDAY” followed by a series of exclamation points. This week was was real, it was a challenge, and I figured a great and honest opportunity to begin this blogging journey of mine.

My partner and I have an agreement with ourselves that makes life a little bit easier most of the time, it goes a little something like this—every day, upon waking, we do something that will make the end of the day easier, more pleasant, more rewarding, simpler, and in turn, each evening, we do something before going to bed that will make the morning the same. Often, my evening “gift” to my morning self will be to ensure the kitchen is clean, breakfast things are at the ready, the table is set and our coffee things are arranged. My partners gift to himself is usually ironing his clothes for work and preparing and packing his lunch.(I know, what kind of at-home partner am I, leaving him to fend for himself with both ironing and lunch making?) Our morning gifts to our evening selves include tidying the yard, paying a bill online, taking the dog for her long walk, soaking beans, prepping a crock pot meal, baking a treat for the week, doing a load of laundry– any number of things we can do while we have abundant energy that streamlines and makes our evenings as a family easier and less hectic. This week, however, there was no abundant energy in the mornings, and we got through the week(well, with a few hours left til the actual weekend begins) with the bare minimum.

Each day this week has begun playing catch up before our feet hit the floor. (and yes, one of us is forgoing slippers and feet are hitting the floor directly, since one of us seems to have misplaced one of his slippers. How does one loose ONE slipper? It’s been that kind of week.) Breakfasts have been late because every morning, I’ve had to clean the kitchen before beginning cooking, and since we’ve established this lovely routine of eating our morning meals together, my children aren’t very willing to eat a “convenient” breakfast of a slice of toast with peanut butter while standing around the kitchen(I tried) and want to sit down at the dining table with tea and breakfast proper. My partner is rushing about, ironing his shirt while drinking coffee and slapping together a sandwich and I then have a whole other mess to clean up once he’s rushed out the door ten minutes later than usual.

As a result of the late start to breakfast, the whole rest of our day is off. Lunch is later because we ate breakfast closer to lunch time than our usual breakfast hour, and chores and stories are pushed back to the afternoon. The kids are cranky during ballet and tired during dinner. I drink too much tea and not enough water. We forego our time in nature and find ourselves on an emergency provisions trip to target that saw us walking out with two boxes of tissues(not recycled), target brand dye free allergy medicine(not natural, homeopathic or organic), a box of celestial seasoning sleepytime sinus tea(not organic, but my oldest spotted it and desperately wanted it and I thought it might at least have a placebo effect. it does have nettles and some other herbs I’d been dosing them with anyway) and two mary englebriet card making sets from the dollar spot, because my girls wanted to write letters to their friends to tell them how miserable they are feeling). The girls have abandoned their usual handkerchiefs in favor of a box of tissues each. We skipped the second day of ballet this week when the oldest took to wearing a roll of toilet paper on a fingerknit chain around her neck because she was blowing her nose so frequently that it was the only logical thing to do. We’re home more, which means more mess, including piles of discarded streamers of boogery toilet paper. Dinners have been challenging because we’ve completely abandoned our meal plan due to avoidance of inflammatory and mucus causing ingredients and I’ve been trying to make night after night of soup less boring. (I guess we usually eat a fair amount of inflammation and mucus causing meals?) Bedtime has found me falling asleep reading “Moominpapa at Sea” which is a delightful read under almost all circumstances but after tending to the whims of two under-the weather girls and making sure their healthy-and-a-little-bored brother gets the time and attention he needs, not to mention the interruptions that come with sleeping in a queen sized bed with a five-year-old, a ten-year-old and a six-foot tall bedhog under the best circumstances, never mind least each girl waking during the night at least twice, needing reassurance, tea, remedies, medicine or a good nose honk. Once I make it to bed, I lay there awake, listening to their breathing, their snoring and sniffling. Twice this week, I went to bed forgetting that their brother was asleep in his own bed upstairs with a tooth under his pillow–the first night I remembered I got up but found my wallet empty, the second night, I sent papa out to get cash at 11pm and he came back with ben and jerry’s frozen greek yogurt and we ill-advisedly stayed awake long enough to share a pint and catch up on a weeks worth of the daily show. Ugh. It’s more than just sick kids, it’s bad decisions that have left me drained and playing catch up all week.

Today the girls seem to have turned the corner a bit on the allergies and have been less needy. They agreed to peanut butter toast, an apple and some tea for breakfast, though we ate it together at the table, with proper plates and cloth napkins and conversation. They did math, and read books and while my fella still can’t find his other slipper, they got dressed and brought in the trash cans after the trash collection and took out the compost, which left two less things for me to do. I took the time that they were dressing and making beds(beds haven’t been made at all this week, I don’t think) to thaw some black beans to make a batch of black bean peanut butter brownies this afternoon, and despite my taking this time to type away on the computer, I am determined to finish all the laundry, read to the kids, go for a walk, and get everyone, myself included, bathed. I’m determined to give my weekend self the gift of a head start, and it starts now. Tonight, an early bedtime for everyone, and hopefully, just me and my bedhog in my bed without interruptions til morning.

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen.” Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks.

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