Husband and son are gone for the day, as they had been all of last week.
Josh kicked off Monday by offering to help his dad with a few things on their property, Jr tagging along for a visit to Grandmom. But as these things go, one little house project revealed a bigger need for a larger project, and so on, until eventually it’s Friday and Josh is walking in the door, sweaty, grass-stained, paint-covered and I’m asking, “And you are…?”
It’s a nice change of pace for us, so accustomed to being huddled inside together all day, everyday. For Josh, it seems cathartic to do something active and physical and productive after so many months of digitally tweaking minuscule hand-drawn lines and adjusting shades of color ever so slightly. He seems recharged by that grunting, lifting, outdoor sort of work the way I’m invigorated by a swift, thorough cleaning of the house.
And so that was the intention of this week. The cleaning, I mean. And I started out well. Coffee brewing, music loud, windows thrown open as the lemony, soapy smells of a cleaning rampage start to form an almost discernible cloud.
But the whole cleaning thing lost its novelty fairly quickly. With the house mostly-clean, there wasn’t the same motivation or sense of accomplishment in actually cleaning it. Tuesday on sort of devolved into folding a random pair of shorts here and there while sprawled in bed with Twitter open, to finally just smashing junk food into my face (verboten when grabby-handed toddler is around), tossing the wrapper where it may lie, and curling up for a midday nap, no pretense of “taking a break” from “so much hard work.” Josh would come home exhausted from a full day of manual labor, carting the boy, a sticky, cranky mess from too many sweets and snuggles. And, my plastic wrappers and trashy internet articles neatly hidden away, I would brattily writhe in bed whining how we never doooo anything any more and I’m just soooo boooored.
I sometimes moan about how busy we are, but I’ll reluctantly admit that busy-ness tends to keep me in line. Without hard and fast deadlines squashed with a million things to do between, I fall into some gross (if also luxurious and wonderful) habits.
After so much lolling and dawdling, the weekend graciously and unexpectedly allowed me some free time to spend with those two smooshy faces I’d grown to miss. Farmer’s market, iced latte walk, grilled vegetables and impromptu picnic, then soft serve from the ice cream truck. Normal-people pleasures involving things like showering in advance and wearing pants and blinking into the sunlight of the outdoors. It straightened me back into something resembling human.
Now, again kissing the cheeks of two sweet faces goodbye, I’m hoping these next five days allow me to find that sacred middle ground. Somewhere between the grout-scrubbing and the mid-day lounging, there has to be a happy place of productivity and comfort both, that I’m determined to find.
After this creamsicle.