I texted myself something the other night, this line: “I will do my best.” I do not normally text myself words of inspiration, mind you, but it was bouncing around in my head, so there it is. I will do my best. Sometimes it’s good to focus on something simple, something pure. A couple of other thoughts:
- Along those lines, Dave and I went to Ireland with my family ages and eons ago (like, 2004. A whole other DECADE). I remember stumbling down to breakfast one morning (no, I wasn’t hungover. Stumbling is just kind of my thing until that first cup of coffee is coursing its happy path through my veins). I wished the innkeeper a good morning, and she said, quite matter-of factly, “Every morning is a good morning when you can get up and work.” And then she handed me some scrambled eggs. Touché.
- Quinn and Saoirse volunteered to wash the dishes (!) the other night. I pulled over a stool, helped them put on some rubber dish gloves (they insisted), and tried to ignore the water and grease that went splashing everywhere as they set about scrubbing and rinsing and loading. They actually did a really good job, which makes me think we’ve been way too lax on the biologically indentured servitude front. Afterward, SK said, “I like washing the dishes! We should do this again sometime.” If she only knew.
- I’m getting to know Christy, a fantastic writer who happens to be the wife of my brother’s college roommate. She keeps a blog called A Single Hour and if you like essays on faith (in this case, Catholic) and God and how humans interact with other humans, along with a couple of well-placed swear words sprinkled throughout (they’re my favorite, I have to say), check out her posts. Heck, I’ll give you one in particular: “Two Joys in Three Days.” And not just because Part One is about me and David and makes me blush and she happened to catch a moment at my brother’s wedding I want to remember absolutely forever. Honest. Not just because of that.
- I finished John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars way too late last night, sobbing my eyeballs out in an empty bathtub in our master bath because I didn’t want to wake up Dave by staying in our room and was too lazy to take my book downstairs. I didn’t realize that 11:30 p.m. would find me crying ugly tears by myself in a bathroom that echoes and what kind of weirdo hides in an empty bathtub to finish a book? Oh my goodness, though, that book. I was laughing all the way through, and then BAM: my eye sockets turned into water faucets. Those characters are so well-drawn, what they go through, it’s just…man. What a book.
- Saoirse starts first grade (*sob*) on Monday. Quinn starts her last year of preschool (*sob* *sob*) the week after that. I’m normally very laid-back and “life goes on” and all about this stuff until, like, the day before the first day of school and we’re sitting at the kitchen table and I’m looking at all of my children and realizing that I’m going to blink and they’ll all be young adults with deeper voices and lives that don’t include me and weird haircuts I don’t approve of. But I can’t let myself think of that yet, especially when a 4-year-old Quinn came skipping into our room this morning to give me “a hug and a kiss,” just because she felt like doing so before the sun had even peeked up over the horizon. “Uh, oh!” she said this morning. She was giggling. “Don’t hug me too hard!” I wanted to tell her that that wasn’t hard enough.
- I’ve been cooking a lot lately, mainly because work on the book has overtaken my brain and when I’m not thinking about the book (or the next one. Gaaaaahhh) I’m trying to avoid doing the cleaning. But check out this recipe for focaccia from The Wednesday Chef, and Ina Garten’s Roasted Shrimp with Feta, which is easy and incredible and looks really pretty when you throw the skillet onto the kitchen table and yell at your children to not touch the hot handle. And if you really want to live a happy life, make these chocolate chip cookies by David Leite. I’d just read Molly Wizenberg’s Delancey, where she talks about offering the cookies on the dessert menu for her restaurant, and then I read all these reviews of Delancey (the restaurant, I mean, not the book), where people rave about the cookies, and then I found the recipe on her blog, and well, it appears that chocolate chip cookies can indeed be a breakfast food when you’ve been up all night reading bestselling YA novels. I subbed in white whole wheat flour for the two flours listed there. No one in my house complained, because their mouths were all too full. I suppose I should get to that cleaning…
- But first I’ll tell you to read this. My friend Annie shared this article written by Michelle Ickard for The Washington Post. If you have middle-school kiddos, it’s a good read, especially if you’re the overprotective type. If you have youngish people living under your feet, it’s still a good one to tuck away for the day you need it (i.e., when your kid comes home with her lip pierced and a head full of black hair dye. That day). Thanks, Annie.
I will do my best. You go do yours.