Outside, something bangs in the wind, pulling me even further away from sleep. I’d been lying on the living room futon, Bobby and I having fallen asleep by the fire. Eventually, the inevitable stiffness in my back woke me, thoughts started churning, the mysterious clunking outside ensured drifting back into slumber was impossible. Despite scouring the outside with a flashlight, I cannot find the source of the noise. I only checked through the window; much as I’d like the noise to stop, the thought of venturing out squelches my investigative impulse. The wind picks up, as does my dread of the coming day’s commute. Weather like this makes me want to stay off the roads and close to the kids.
January 3, already? From the turn of the clock, my resolution to do everything right met with challenges. Maintaining my patience through the squabbling on New Year’s Day was not easy. All I wanted was a lovely day with the family; what I got was people cranky from sugar hangovers and lack of sleep. (That’s the last time I serve sundaes at midnight!) That first night of the New Year, just after Nick had climbed the stairs to bed and I’d situated myself on the couch with Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – a book I’m taking far too long to read, which reminds me why I don’t read as much as I used to, because I can’t devote the chunks of time to the act that I would like – Nick traipsed back down the stairs, teary-eyed with a stomachache.
I settled him on the couch and made some tummy soothing tea. Was he going to throw up? No, thankfully. Maybe he was hungry? He hadn’t had much to eat at dinner. Possibly. A glance at the kitchen’s contents revealed depressingly limited choices resulting in the 10 p.m. making of pancakes. That sort of helped, but then the impressive heat of the fire caused discomfort. He relocated to a cooler room – mine. He fell asleep, but talked in his sleep. At one point (4 a.m.), he sat up, pointed at me and said, “That windshield is really bad!,” then slumped back to slumber. I wondered if he was having some sort of premonition – my car windshield cracked along the bottom Sunday night when it froze over – or was delirious with low blood sugar. So I poked his finger, squeezed out the drop of blood onto the strip. 262 – on the high side. Damn. He’s been doing so well the past few days. But that’s not such a terrible number at night, I reminded myself. We have more leeway at night.
Around 5 a.m., I managed to fall asleep, leading me to oversleep and not have time for the HealthSport class I’d planned to take, but was too tired for now anyway. Besides, I had to make a pre-work run to the Co-op as the house had proved empty of food and the kids had a mom-free day ahead. (They keep expecting to eat.) As I drove off toward Ferndale, hoping the desire to close my eyes wouldn’t end badly, The Rubberneckers finally confirmed-confirmed that they’d be showing up to play live. Thanks to the helpful people at the station, that went well, although the clean-up made me late for my staff meeting at the Eye.
Just when I thought I wouldn’t make it through the evening without cracking, everyone stepped up. Chelsea stopped throwing the teenage attitude she’d been delivering earlier; Bobby took the girls to aikido so I could stay home; Nick made black-bean-and-tofu burritos, with my instruction, so I could sort the mail. I successfully outlined a budget for January and set up the payments online – no room for error this month, but that’s another post. While a list of intentions not met remained, sometimes the “right” thing to do is stretch out with the kids, enjoy the fire and a mug of tea, and watch episodes of Arrested Development (Chelsea’s new favorite) into the night.