I Should be Balancing the Checkbook

Do you know how many ideas I have stored up for this blog in the sugar-addled, wine-deprived, sleepy noggin of mine? It’s a lot. As days pass there are a lot of “Ooh!” moments and “Ah, I can’t forget that!” experiences that promptly evaporate into tiny, mist-sized droplets that lodge themselves in my brain, bouncing around until the moment is so far gone I can’t remember enough details to write about them. I want to be posting all the time, I really do. But this parenting thing has sucked up my time (don’t you hate that??). I mean, the parenting and the organizing and the Christmas-preparing and the whining about how much my back hurts. Oh, and the simple fact that the only time I’m alone with my own thoughts is…uh…eh…yeah.

So, in order to stay on top of life, I do not write. Which means that my house looks awesome when I don’t write, and my children are paid much better attention, and I remember to transfer the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, but there’s a big chunk of me that feels unanchored. I feel lost without it, like I’m ignoring a part of me that’s knocking at my bones, asking to be let out. The only upside is that at least my children will have fewer embarrassing stories that are set to follow them along that endless chasm called the Internet.

But I was going through some paperwork on the desk yesterday, and came across a scrap of paper I almost threw out without reviewing. I’m glad I looked at it more closely, because it held a quick scrawled note about something that happened that I don’t want to ever forget. It’s as simple as this:

Every night at bedtime, the girls (who are finally settling into the whole sharing-a-room situation that’s been thrust upon them, much to Saoirse’s ongoing dismay) and we have a routine of blowing kisses. Namely, one us throws a kiss to one of them, which she has to “catch,” and then she blows a kiss back, and we have to catch it. It started out simply, one night when David was working late and the girls were trying to keep me from leaving their room after lights-out. But you know how these games with kiddos go–we’ve played air hockey with the kisses, caught flyaway kiss balls, pretended they were in a ping-pong machine that made the kiss bounce all over the room. Blowing a kiss can become a twenty-minute one-act play if we’d let it. Which we don’t. Because Dad has work to do and Mama needs to fold the laundry and maybe even get a shower since her hair hasn’t seen the glory of a shampoo bottle in two days.

But one night, this one night documented forever on that little scrap of paper, Saoirse was tucked into bed, surrounded by her stuffed dolphin and blanket and this little flower toy the Easter Bunny found in the dollar bin at Target and brought her last year. She asked me to blow her a kiss, which I did from my spot in the doorway. Saoirse looked up, caught the kiss in her little hand, and brought it to rest on her chest, over her heart. She sighed. And she said, “I’m going to keep this forever and ever.”

That’s the part where I melted into a puddle of heartwarmed goo in the middle of the doorway that David had to mop up with our last clean dishtowel.

So there you go. Or there I go, really, because I’m the only one that’s going to look at this entry in forty years and start crying my eyes out in my wrinkled, wrinkled hands while all the other people on the front porch of the retirement home take pity on me and ask the nurses to slip some vodka into my prune juice at dinnertime. I need to write more.  Kathleen Flinn, author of this book I really like called The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, recently said, “As in cooking, living requires that you taste, taste, taste as you go along – you can’t wait until the dish of life is done.” That’s good, right? And I wish I could more consistently follow it. I need to be able to take this blog and use it as a way to slow myself down, force myself to stop living life for a second so I can see it more clearly. Even if that means I ignore my children for a little bit, or let the towels wallow for awhile in the washer. Maybe. I don’ t know. There’s a baby coming in a few weeks who will most likely demand otherwise, so we’ll just see how it goes. But I will say, if he or she is anything like his or her sisters, there’s going to be a lot that I’ll want to remember.

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