It's 10:28 p.m. and I haven't finished folding the seven loads of laundry on my bed. Garry is out with friends tonight (the party usually ends at two or three in the a.m.), and the boys had their friends over tonight until 10:00. All is now quiet for the first time today.
I'm going to take a moment of silence.
Know what happened when I sat still in my brain for minute? I cried, and not just in my brain. I was not expecting that. Why am I crying?
Maybe it's because my brain is just so full. This month is so full--full of good things and fun things and celebratory things for many children at my house and in my heart--and at the same time completely overwhelming. When I list them all I want you to know I am not complaining. But I suppose this will capture a moment in my life when I was crying.
Dearest Lexi turns four next week, on May 16. FOUR! She's in the typical almost-four stage: whiny and clingy and bossy and smart-mouthed. She's putting her female stamp on Bartle stubbornness and intensity. She can roar like the best of them, and she frequently exasperates me to tears. She makes me so, so tired and tries my patience many, many, many times a day. I'm brushing up on Love and Logic, taking lots of deep breaths and time-outs myself, and trying to soak up the moments of goodness in her. So we'll have a little birthday girl next Thursday, and a birthday party on Saturday afternoon (the 18th). The theme is rainbows and it's going to be lots of fun. The party will be simple (I like simple) but the rainbowy decorations won't be as simple, but that's just what I want to do, and I don't get to choose what I do very often anymore. Anyway. We're having a party next Saturday afternoon.
Next Saturday morning, probably from about 5:00 a.m. to noon, I will be helping at the Youth Garage Sale that I not-so-subtly announced in a recent letter. Other people have made Herculean efforts to pull this off. My job is to sit at the money table for four hours and thank the kind and generous citizens of Colorado Springs for helping our youth get to camp. But first I need to make about 10 more signs to point the way to the sale. That is really going to be time-consuming, and deciding how to position them all in the community might break my brain. Please note that the garage sale ends at 11:00 a.m. (in theory) and the birthday party begins at 3:00 p.m.
Also next week: Mother's Day tea, Field Day, Computer Share Day, visiting teaching (seeing three friends with a friend, so it's fun). Physical therapy (more on that later). Teacher Appreciation gifts (I have the stuff; just need to put on bows and nice notes). And I'd really, really like to plant some pretty flowers and spread some mulch to liven up my dead yard.
The next big event (May 21) is a graduation party of sorts for the youth in our ward who are graduating high school very soon. We have four seniors to celebrate, and all the youth are going to enjoy the party! It really is going to be cool. We've got a fun theme and great games and yummy food lined up. I have delegated a lot, but tonight, right this minute, I'm overwhelmed with what's left up to me: a huge banner with a cute quote from a famous person (no spoilers!) that I need to create and paint; make super cute and simple little signs; create a Mad Libs game for group use; and various other computer generated things, all with an amazing generous budget of $30, including food. Yeah.
That shindig is partway into the last week of school. There are two picnics in the park for my preschoolers and a continuation ceremony for Zach, since he is graduating elementary school! I need to figure out a special something to do for him. Then on the 24th, Garry's mom and sister are coming to town for Memorial Day weekend. When they leave, summer will have officially arrived (on the school calendar, at least--Mother Nature thinks it's February). We'll RELAX the schedule for a couple of days, and then I'll go to youth conference. That is from 4:30 on Thursday the 30th through sometime in the afternoon of Saturday the 1st. I do not yet know my specific assignments beyond driving the youth hither and yon. But assignments I will surely have! I am crying about that because I kind of moved heaven and earth to go to youth conference, and I'm the only leader with little kids that did that. Maybe it wasn't super important to go, but now I'm committed. I have two more PT appointments in there somewhere. Lots of checks to babysitters in May. Are you crying yet?
And then summer. I cry just thinking about real summer when the kids are all home and I'm the one in charge and we can only run through the sprinklers twice a week before 10:00 a.m. I have a love/hate relationship with TV. I don't want my kids' brains turning to mush, but even though I have some cool ideas about learning and structure floating in my head, I'm not sure how or if I can implement them. I have pretty low expectations of myself, and I can't decide what capacity I (might) really have. I am so tentative about trying new things. I want to swim laps at the Y. I know it will be good for my broken and ever-fattening body, but I can't quite make myself just do it. What if I get there, mustered courage and all, and no lanes are open? What if I drown? (This is a legitimate concern.) How on earth can I reverse the terrible trend of gaining the weight I worked SO DANG HARD to lose? I know it's my fault. Eating ice cream is a poor choice. Eating tons and tons of ice cream is an extremely poor choice. I picked up that stick and don't like what I knew was on the other end. I'm definitely crying now.
I'm new on the scene of physical therapy. I have a lower left back thing, which turned into a right inner knee thing, which radiated into ankle, hip, and hamstring things. My whole body rotates to the right and I run like I'm on a balance beam. My stride is all messed up and my hips are out of whack. It's not especially serious, but running, which is vital for my stable mental health, has not been possible for about 2 1/2 months. Also demoralizing. I think between seeing the therapist, who seems brilliant, and getting therapeutic massages (from an amazing girl), I could be on the road to recovery. The PT clinic and its people are terrific. I just want them to fix me. I need to be fixed so I can get on with my life and get out of this ugly rut.
Not being able to run makes me cry, at least when I talk about it. Today, when I almost talked about it to my good friend and PT, I closed the door to my room and really cried. And then, pretending I hadn't cried, I set up three more appointments and went home. And now I hurt in about 17 new places. It's normal for that to happen, but right now I'm crying about my stupid old body that has limits. I pretty much hate that.
Also at PT, I had a talk with a friend who's in college. I reminisced on my collegiate regrets: graduating early, not taking a single fun class, not majoring in nursing (I enjoyed health science but for me it was a huge cop-out). I worked in an office for two years after graduation when I could have been getting a graduate degree. My young friend is lucky to have a mentor to teach her all of these things when she is 20 and these decisions are still ahead of her. She won't have regrets. And she won't have to figure out who she is and what she likes when she has a house full of kids.
The dumbest thing to cry about is not being able to learn piano music fast enough or well enough. I realized the other day that I have come to terms with the fact that I'll never run an 8-minute mile again (not with this body, anyway). I just don't go that fast, even though at 17 I ran a sub-6 fairly regularly. But that's just reality. I think I have to accept my piano performance limits as well. I need to stop comparing, and stop beating my head against the wall when I mess up that part AGAIN or just can't play that section up to speed. The guy who wrote it is brilliant, and the renditions I've heard are amazing, and I'm just not those people. That doesn't mean I don't have a talent I'd like to continue to develop. It just is what it is, and what it always will be.
Today I mopped my floor more thoroughly than usual. I shouldn't have picked today to be thorough, since I had five or six more pressing tasks (none of them are done, as I sit here and whine to you), but I did. I really cleaned a section of floor in front of the baseboard underneath the cabinet. It doesn't get clean when I simply mop. Today I got on my knees and worked on that spot. Guess what happened? Having a really clean, bright section of floor made the rest of the floor look that much dirtier. *Sigh* I hope this is not a metaphor for my life.
Tonight after the boys' "late night" party (we don't do sleepovers), Zach flipped out about his Saturday chores, which were listed on the job board. Zach's part of our discussion was loud and emotional and involved throwing paper and tacks, while mine was calm and measured. That was a tough way to end the night. I sent Garry a text warning him that Zach refuses to attend tomorrow's merit badge clinic, which begins at 8:00 a.m. Garry's gonna have to handle that one.
Dear readers, if you have read this far, I thank you kindly for listening. Now that it is 11:38, I'm going to get some tissues and go to sleep under a mountain of laundry that didn't quite get folded tonight. Heaven knows that laundry waits. I can cry about that tomorrow.