As of last week, I now have Tuesday and Thursday from 9-3 all by myself. My kids are both in school on those days. We bike there together and then I bike home alone, listening to air whiz past my ears, my breath and my crooked front tire brush against the fender. I’ve been meaning to fix that for a year. Maybe I’ll make time to do that now.
It’s weird. I am alone. Not lonely, just alone. I was thinking on that yesterday morning as I made a coffee and tried to organize my thoughts on what I ought to do. My to-do list is currently of epic length concerning things like ordering and designing fall inventory, taking on five new retailers, hiring a new employee, writing that book I put on hold this summer…and then there’s house stuff like cleaning the coop, mowing the lawn, painting the kitchen cabinets, laundry and preserving the mountains of garden harvest. It is easy for me to overbook myself by myself, assuring my brain that I have SIX WHOLE HOURS without children so, clearly I can accomplish at least eight times that of my former self.
So, yes, I was thinking on this while making coffee. And then Alice rubbed against my leg, stared into my eyes and wagged her whole butt. She looked right at me and said you’re not alone! I am HERE and I want to run with you! I will always run with you! Or just hang out! I love to hang out! I love you endlessly! Can I please have that broccoli stalk just laying there on the counter?
And so we did just that, Alice and me. She can’t go far these days but sister loves to run. And broccoli stalks are her most favorite treat of all time.
I ran home, emailed, packed up some orders and left to run errands. I returned with 85 yards of fabric and 60 pounds of peaches to five hens in the yard. We have six. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find Cup. I had to go get Margot from school and then to our date at the bead store. We swung back home because I forgot her purse (full of *her* money that she made this week. more on that later). We found Cup chillin’ in my bedroom on the rug, under the ceiling fan. Chicken shit everywhere. I’d locked her in the house for three hours.
We picked Ruby up and then came home, an explosion of lunch boxes and backpacks and stories and gobs of kids running in and out of every door as I made quesadillas and scurried behind with toilet paper shouting watch out for chicken poop! while still in my skunky running clothes.
I kicked off my shoes and got lost in the garden. The evening rolled into a driveway dance performance with the neighbor kids and dinner gathering. I finally got my shower at 11:30.
I think I nailed it. I really do. The to-do list, the expectations, the anticipation…really, it’s a simple series of moments and choices. My day ended full, messy, happy, loving, accomplished, energized and thankful. What more could I want?