…. lost another fish… I really don’t know what is happening or what to do! But, Maggie I had another “ceremony” in the bathroom. She, very solemnly says, “Please, God, help this fish find his way to heaven.” Then she flushes and closes the lid and looks at me with those big brown eyes and her sincere expression and says, “You know, Momma, that was kinda gross.”
In the dictionary, beside “animation” there is a picture of her. She is the epitome of animation. She runs in from the living room to the kitchen where I am puttering. While she’s bouncing up and down, she says, “Hey, hey, hey, Momma, listen to me, I have a GREAT IDEA. I can have a piece of cheese!” She says this with a huge smile, brown eyes big and wide, her whole face lighting up. I can’t help but smile, even as I’m thinking, it’s just cheese.
This is her approach to everything.
Time to sweep the floor? “Great idea! I can help!”
Need to fold clothes? “I’m a GREAT folder, Mommy! Watch me.”
There’s a lesson in here somewhere, I’m sure of it. If I approached things with her enthusiasm and passion, life would be more fun. Dishes to do? I’m great at doing dishes (years of practice.) Sheets to change? Clean sheets always feel so good! Her philosophy seems to be why walk when you can twirl, why run when you can dance.
She wiggles her way into the kitchen again and grins at me. “I’m done my cheese. Wanna see my monkey face? It’s awesome.”
Life with Maggie is wonderful, complex and yes, exhausting.
We came home from dropping the kids off at school this morning – busy, hectic morning, as usual. Mags and I came in and as we were taking our layers off noticed all Mouse’s shoes right where they belong in her cubby. Yay! Wait, no, if ALL her shoes are right where they belong, is she clomping around in her snow boots all day? Called the front office and talked to Ann – bless her. One of the joys of a small town is the relationships you cultivate. I apologized, knowing what a school office looks and sounds like on a snowy morning – imagine chaos – and she graciously said, “That’s what we are here for, what do you need?”
“I am so sorry, but I think Mouse may have forgotten her sneakers… I know this is a pain, but can she call me…”
“You are never a pain! I called Gen at the school when my kids were little and now you call me. Hold on one minute.”
And with tears in my eyes, I know she’s right. Gen was the school secretary when I was in school, when Ann’s kids were in school and Gen was just like Ann – no nonsense, calm, capable, and considerate above and beyond duty. She came back on the line in a few minutes.
“Mouse has snow boots for outside, she doesn’t have gym today, and Ms. Fontaine says she has on lovely black dress up shoes for the classroom, so go pour yourself a second cup of coffee and relax.”
There’s a lot in the news right now about school safety. Recent events changed forever our feelings about school safety. I always catch my breath for a moment when I say good-bye in the commuter line and yell, “I love you!” as they grab backpacks and slam the car door. Leaving your kids in the hands of others is hard. Knowing my kids are in such good hands, in hands that share a mother’s worry…. it’s comforting. It’s reassuring. It’s part of belonging in a small town.
- Twin day at school. Matching outfits “required.” Crazy mad search for matching black fleece pants to go w/ Hawaiian shirts. Pulled Sam’s from bottom of dirty laundry. Good enough.
- The new tube of tooth paste from visit to the dentist yesterday? Maggie enjoyed cleaning the sink and herself w/ it while I searched for black fleece pants.
- After dropping kids off at school, then walking Ben, decided to go for walk w/ j and d. Ran into house to get hat, go outside to Maggie screaming in stroller. Try to walk, not really successful. Was it my heart rate or my blood pressure going up?
- Turn around, back home in driveway, dog slips collar. Runs next door after chickens (Did I tell you J has chickens? Yes, actual egg-laying chickens that roam the yard). I FLY after him yelling, pants falling down around my ankles, my knees killing me and catch up and throw him in the house, j following w/ kids, both crying cause they think chickens are being killed.
- Spend a couple minutes on J’s couch comforting screaming children, come home, Maggie takes medicine cup (Yes, we are back on antibiotics) and drinks all the H20 in dogs’ dish while I’m the phone w/ Sam’s case manager from school (missing paperwork, 3 yr evaluation due, long story)
- Add pellets to stove, throw in wash so Western Wear (Western Wear? What in the world?) will be clean for tomorrow (Rah, rah, spirit week!) and realize Maggie is poopy and has attempted to change her own diaper
- Get Maggie clean and collapse.
- It is 10:30AM.