When Boone goes down for a nap he doesn't think he's ready to go down for, I retreat to the basement office. The furthest point away where I can still here him, but I don't really HEAR him enough to be tempted to go rescue him from his temporary discomfort.
And that's when I stare at a computer screen and think. You know, after I add some money to Kael's school lunch account, and email Dax's soccer team about the game tonight, and look on Amazon for the 13th time for a T-Rex costume for an adamant five-year-old.
I'm in it you guys. The thickest part of motherhood. Where it's still physically demanding and I have to literally feed the hungry and clothe the naked to some extent. For Boone, it's everything. I do it all. I am his lifeline. His internal clock and physical needs are the tick tock of my every day. And for the others it's tying shoes and helping wrestle on an unyielding shin guard and packing a lunch. It is exhausting, and my mind is outside of myself nearly every moment of every day -- and I LOVE IT.
I sleep like a rock. I wake with a to-do list a mile long. I know I'll never tackle it all but it makes me feel motivated and needed and important in my own way. And Diet Coke fuels me through it.
I make dinner. I clean rooms. I bake cupcakes. I stumble over toy tanks and animals. I sweep the floor an insane number of times every day and I do multiple loads of laundry each day of the week. I pick up friends from school and soccer and Itty Bitty ball. I holler out the car window things like, "I love you!" and "You're awesome!" and "Be nice!"
I go through folders in backpacks and work through homework. I practice spelling words and I read story problems. I hang their artwork from a string with clothespins and schedule parent teacher conferences. I organize clothes, fold up things they've grown out of and store them for the next brother in line. I make peach jam. I have something simmering in the crock pot while I'm out mowing the lawn with a baby on my back.
The introductory chapter of my parenting book is over. And the never-ending work of the middle chapters is upon us. I have little time or space to myself. To get it I have to wake up earlier or stay up later. I have the tiniest smidge of "extra" to give to RyGar, who is also working tirelessly. Our time together is concise and often late at night as we sit on the couch almost comatose. But in those moments our solemn truce of love and partnership is present even if it's just holding his gaze a little longer as we eat a bowl of cereal and watch Jimmy Kimmel together.
I have put hobbies on the back burner. I know I have a name besides, "Mom"... but right now, that title that I fought long and hard for... it's ever present. And I'm so grateful for this demanding, tiring, infinitely beautiful spot that I'm in. I hope it lasts as long as it seems to on those certain marathon days...
The longest of days and the shortest of seasons. Let me see these regular days for the gifts that they truly are. And so much gratitude to the Man upstairs for letting me experience it.