The dryer is drying and the washer is washing and I’m sitting here watching the leaves spin and tumble and flash bits of color as they ride the wind to the earth below. It really is a magical display, the way they sparkle in the sunshine.
Ella is sitting next to me, eating marshmallows and slurping cocoa from her spoon. It dribbles down her chin and down the front of her shirt. Her brand spankin’ new shirt. She makes a fist and then opens her hands and says “my hands are sticky” and I wonder why I decided to bathe her before lunch.
There is a chicken sitting in my kitchen sink. I’m trying to un-flash-freeze it so I can cook it. I don’t think it’s working. We’re going to end up eating spaghetti again.
Do you know how many loads of laundry I have done today? Four. And I’m maybe half-way done. I never seem to understand why I can’t get much done on laundry day. But today I realized that it probably takes two hours or so to do one load of laundry from start to finish. (I did the math in the shower this morning, as I was trying to figure out why nothing was getting done). So, I put one load in the dryer, one in the wash, and wait for the load in the dryer to be dry so I can fold it. While it’s drying, I can occupy myself with something productive. Like a tea party or whatever. Or I could try to empty the dishwasher while Ella colors with markers. Only I need to keep my eye on her, because if I turn my back for a minute, I will see that she has colored her entire hand purple and teal. Then I’ll have to leave the dishwasher half-emptied to clean her and the markers up. And do you know that she has switched around all the caps? So I have to put the right cap on the right marker, because it drives me crazy that the blue marker has a red cap, etc. And even though I know that it really really doesn’t matter what color the cap is, I am compelled by my retentivity to correctly cap the markers. And I know that I am creating either a)a retentive child like myself, or b)a child that will break every rule there is just because. And I fear both outcomes. And this, of course, is why nothing gets done on laundry day.
And so, here I sit, listening to the dryer, and the washer. The family room is a mess with blankets and pillows tossed around, and folded laundry everywhere.
The kitchen is a mess with paperwork that needs to be filed or filled out and reminders about this fundraiser, or that preschool event or that school activity. There are dry dishes to be put away and four sacks of Halloween candy that I wish would vanish because I just ate four peanut butter cups. And I am being totally serious when I say that I took one piece of candy from each bag so that I could be fair and steal from each child.
There are matching cards everywhere. And books. And puzzles.
And there are four pots of Christmas bulbs to plant so that they bloom at Christmas. And Halloween decorations to put away. And I STILL need to get that pinecone wreath out for our front door. I love that wreath.
And even though it sounds like I am complaining, I sit here with the strongest, most calm feeling of content that I could ever imagine feeling. We are warm, and we have food in our pantry, and we have each other.
And really, that’s all we need.