Friday, May 7, 2010


"Trapped mainly by wanting things to be exactly as they are, only better." - Brian Andreas

By Thursday evenings, my tank is on empty. Jason walks in the door and the week's injustices pile up to meet him: a playdate gone wrong, Jemma throwing her shoes, Annie's post-school meltdown, the noise, the laundry, always the laundry. He props me up the best he can and we get the kids to bed, then cook a late dinner together and fall on the couch, exhausted, to split a bottle of wine and eat slender asparagus.

But Fridays are sort of my day - at least they are supposed to be, when there are no staff meetings or houseguests or weekend trips or doctor's appointments or special school events. We bundle Annie off to school in the morning, and then I say a breezy good-bye to Jason and Jemma, who are usually playing a good game of Memory or packing up to run errands.

I go to yoga, unroll my mat, take one hour to pay attention to my breath and my muscles. My yoga teacher says things like "sparkle upwards!" during cobra pose and I actually love it. She talks about the pace of life, the value of breath, the strength of self. I run errands alone, the car quiet. I schedule interviews, banish e-mails to the trash, write in coffee shops, make phone calls. The crazy of the week falls away and I feel myself coming to center again, welcoming back a mental sharpness and emotional calm that gets chipped away Monday through Thursday in the noise and the rushing and the chasing of children.

I always plan to be away for most of the day; I always find myself back at home sooner than I had planned. Because once I've reclaimed that space in my brain - in my life - I am ready to plunge back in, so much more grateful for the ordinaryness that I am blessed with, ready to take little girls to the pool, make them pizza, and read Corduroy in my bed while their damp, round heads and big, round eyes follow my every move. For that moment, I am present again, able to appreciate things exactly as they are.

Annie drew a picture of me yesterday. In it, I am lying in a bed, sleeping, and little bubbles lead from my head off to the side, where a larger bubble encloses pictures of flowers and food. "It's you, Mama, wearing your flower shirt and your striped pink jammie pants, dreaming of growing things and cooking." My sweet Annie, my little artist, yes. I am dreaming of Fridays, too, of time and space away from you, and of coming back.

"The point of a life, any life, is to figure out what you are good at, and what makes you happy, and, if you are very fortunate, spend your life doing those things." - Ayelet Waldman


  1. I love those moments, too. Every one of them. I love the wet head and round eyes. Beautiful. I love your honesty... refreshing.
    You should post Annie's artwork...

  2. Sounds like your little girl sees you exactly for who you are. :)