Today was one of those days. The rare perfect, or almost-perfect ones. The ones that never seem to happen, or if they do, we tend to forget them by somehow focusing on the ones that are most imperfect instead.
I am finally beginning to respond to the question, “What do you do?” with a confident answer that I stay home with my son. For a long time, I felt the need to qualify this with a “well I taught for five years” or “I tutor a few nights a week” or “for now at least.” I know my days are full of laundry and picking dried yogurt off the kitchen floor. And scrubbing the sink to turn around and dirty it up again with the remnants of the turkey sandwich I really don’t want to eat because I had that for the last 3 days in a row. And answering the door bra-less and embarrassed as my landscaper or UPS man or neighbor or whatever sees me and probably thinks I have been eating bon-bons all morning and oh-my-god-does-she-ever-shower? [What is a bon-bon anyway?]
But today, my friends, today was perfection. Our nighttime sleep is gradually improving around here, or not really but I am at peace with it, and Jude only woke up once last night at 3am. When he woke up for real, he was smiling and happy and greeting the day in a way that made me overlook the fact that it was dark out and not yet 6:30. We came downstairs where he played and the dogs lazily awoke and I made myself a homemade latte and a bagel and listened to morning news so that I remembered there’s a big world outside of this house. Away from me and my little family and my mounds of chores and lack of sleep.
After playing and eating, he went down for a long morning nap when I showered and straightened up and, wait for it….. scrubbed every bathroom in this house until it shined. He woke up happily again, and we set off to Target to get exciting things like trash bags and a new mop head since our current one is covered in dog hair. After this, we went to my favorite little lunch spot and met up with a graduate school friend of mine and her 3 month old, and I found myself asking if Jude was ever that tiny, that quiet. I almost don’t remember it. We had a nice lunch despite Jude’s pile of food on the floor I cleaned up before we left, and it felt so good to talk to another mama, especially one you knew before either of you were anywhere close to motherhood.
When we got home, Jude napped again, peacefully, and the rest of the afternoon was a combination of playtime, wearing him around the house to finish a thing here or there and generally enjoying these little moments. At one point, we swayed and danced to my new favorite song and Jude smiled and hummed along, his new favorite talent. Dinner was Martha’s Tofu & Broccoli, and even Jude loved it and will eat the leftovers tomorrow I’m sure.
And when bathtime came, he splashed and giggled and moved that naked booty all over the bathroom as I dried him off and he crawled around. When I laid him down awake, he put himself right to sleep. And afterwards, my friends, I indulged in a cold beer and hot bath, and I even shaved my legs. Somehow, I cleaned the kitchen, and somehow I found the space and energy in my day to light a fall-scented candle, look forward to the weeks ahead, and think about how lucky I am. And write about it here for you. And mostly for me.
Is it all roses all the time? No.
I could comment on how I made it halfway up my stairs with the vacuum and Jude awoke from his afternoon nap, so the top half of the stairs remain covered in dog hair. I could tell you that I haven’t had a full night of sleep in I dunno how long. I could confess that you cannot see the surface of my dining room table because it’s been littered with half-finished craft projects for the past month with no end in sight. I could tell you that I still haven’t made that dentist appointment I have sworn for weeks I would get around to eventually. I could explain that I have no idea what lesson I will do for tomorrow’s tutoring session, and I will most likely throw it together at the last possible moment. I could complain that my husband is far away yet again this week, and I am so so so tired of a quiet, empty house eight days a month.
But to focus on any of that and miss the beauty of a perfect day like this one? Pointless. Because at the end of it all… at the end of the tiring nights, the bathroom scrubbing, the whining, the never-ending pile of papers that never gets attended to, the “to-be-put-away” laundry pile that always remains…. there’s some joy underneath. A lot of joy actually. And a lot of beauty in some small moments.