I am in Florida with my two boys. We drove down with my parents who were with us for Memorial Day weekend. We took frequent diaper, feeding, and general I’m crabby and need to run up and down the sidewalk breaks.
The drive normally takes seven hours. It took us ten.
How anyone regularly road trips with children below the age of 18 is beyond me.
My eldest loves the new digs, follows nana around like a duckling, but misses his dad. To the point he’s sporting a 103 degree fever that comes and goes these past two days which I suspect is partly borne of homesickness as most times he’s fine but when sadness strikes the fever rises to match. I did this too as a kid, sad he inherited the same trait but comforted that while worrisome, like me, he will hopefully be okay soon.
He also refuses to wear anything but his blue jeans during daylight hours. The ones his dad brought home last Thursday after he quite unceremoniously ripped a hole in his regulars. He’s never been one for loveys or attachments to impersonal objects, but I daresay these new blue jeans may be his first.
Since I’m in Florida, my responsibilities are less. I imagined, as in years past, I would spend my time, as vast as the pastures of South Dakota, relaxing, reading, and writing– most particularly the latter as I have edits in dire need of editing.
But things are different with two.
Two kids means two separate entities that need need need and need mama and only mama particularly in these early days of transition to a new place. Despite the fact that I need not worry about cleaning, or dinner, and that I have from time to time blissfully slept in, its so busy, the purported pastures feels more like a race track with me the overheated greyhound.
To help Waleed adjust we headed to the local library, just the two of us, and then to Target to stock up on hot wheels for him and clearance tank tops for me [you can never have enough of either]. We took the minivan. A vehicle I once reviled. Swore I would never drive much less own. And then found to my complete shock that I kind of sort of adored. It might be that I now have a Highlander so I’m more used to driving a larger vehicle but the driving of my father’s Sienna has not been as intimidating as it has felt in years past. And as with most things one grows to love, objectivity fades, and I now truly think a minivan is a perfectly lovely creature. Stylish even. Maybe. Okay. Not quite. But attractive nonetheless.
All this being said, between trips to the stores, feeding one while reading books to the other, cleaning up spit up and potty training in between, when both are safely in bed and asleep, the last thing I am capable of doing is undertaking the discernment and analysis required to edit a novel for the two thousandth time. My mind is, quite certifiably, fried.
In that vein, in the evenings I’m flipping on the television instead. I’m a Nick at Night sort of girl. I can watch the same rerun of the same sitcom twenty-five times and love it just the same. And unless K is prodding me, I rarely start a new show [hence the reason I have not hopped on board the Downton Abbey train]. But due to the fried membranes [see #9] I’ve been wanting to get lost in something new. Something intelligent and clever but not particularly heavy. And so I decided to try Arrested Development. And my, that’s a funny show. I feel a tad guilty as I click on to the next episode when I know I should be editing, but at the moment, mindless entertainment after a busy day feels not only enjoyable but necessary. Hopefully once Waleed’s fever goes down and he adjusts, the edits can once again resume as intended.
The days are long but the years are short. This is the saying I’ve heard as the defining phrase of parenthood. But. The days are not long. They’re so short its baffling. One minute I’m yawning myself awake, nursing a cup of tea, and the next, the sun has set and the kids are asleep once more. I feel like I blinked– and the sun sped through the sky.
Still, hope springs eternal. For tomorrow. Because tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow much can be accomplished. Books might be read. Edits might be edited. And pastures of time just might be mine for the taking.