Saturday, September 15

Time Passes

The older kids are playing outside with Daddy.  I can hear them laughing and screaming through the open windows.  I'm not sure what Josh is doing but the kids are putting out a fire and climbing into a pirate ship and driving a tractor.
The house smells like chicken stock, which is simmering on the stove.  I'm slicing apples and peaches for lunch and Sadie Beth is napping.

It's in the 70's today and the sky is overcast.  It feels like fall, and the sweet smell of apples and the peppery smell of the stock is reminding me of Christmases at my Granny's house.  It feels peaceful, but festive.

When school starts and Josh goes away for the day andI have to take the kids to school two days a week, and Josh takes classes in the evening and there are lunches and laundry and backpacks and grading and teaching and late nights with the baby and early mornings if I want to run... Well, it gets overwhelming.

The cool weather means I can send the kids outside and be a little lazy for a bit. Maybe I'll bake some bread.

Time passes

Yeast. Sugar, Warm Water.  Wait.  I can smell the beery, sweet smell from across the house while I feed Sadie yogurt for the first time.  She is so excited to be able to chew the spoon and sits, cramming cheerios into her sticky mouth.

Caroline takes a bath to wash the peanut butter out of her hair, and afterward I brush it and pull it up.  I like the smell of her all clean and warm.  She has a cold, so I help her blow her nose.  I try not to laugh as she blows so hard that the kleenex is no match for her snot.  She takes this very seriously.

Jonah is drawing at the other end of the table.  He draws pirates and Batman, and a plane and a horse.  Maybe that's a cowboy.  Or not.  His drawings are so detailed.  He can sit still to draw when nothing else will still him.  His birthday is in five weeks.  He will be five years old.

Time passes.

There has been talk of Halloween around our house.  Caroline wanted to be Batman, and then a Fireman, and then a princess. Jonah be Robin, she has proclaimed.  But Jonah wants to be a ninja, or maybe Diego.  He wears his backpack across his chest with his khaki vest and khaki shorts. He wears a watch that he uses to communicate with the other animal rescuers.  I have an inclination to make my dark-headed daughter into Elvis.

2007: Pregnant with Jonah
Time passes.  So very quickly I find myself the mother of three lively children.  Not so long ago I was the green and nervous mother of a baby boy.  Now I send him running to fetch diapers for his sisters, and he takes a special kind of joy in making the youngest one laugh.

There are times when we are in the car and I look across to Josh.  We often laugh to ourselves about our kids from the front seat, where they do not see.  We were once different people.  We wandered around the appalachian mountains on a whim.  We took vacations for our anniversary and ate long dinners out at restaurants and watched television.  But time passes.  We will have been married ten years this December.

I am not the girl he married.  I am stronger than that girl ever was, but more vulnerable in some ways.  That girl hid her fears behind anger and slept late on Saturdays.  She took long naps on Sundays, too.  She ignored what needed to be done because she just didn't want to.

Me?   There is still anger, but there's a practicality that follows it.  Fears get exposed and I try to clean the wounds out before they fester.  I don't nap much at all; sometimes  a short one on Sunday.  If I don't get things done now, it's because I was doing something else.

When did it become like this?  When did I become like this?  I still remember a time when I felt very young.  I don't feel old, but I don't feel young like that anymore.  That's a good thing.

Time passes.

The house is silent.  Babies and husbands are sleeping.  Dishes are done.  Tomorrow's lunch is in the crock pot and bread is rising in the pan.  There is chicken stock in the freezer.  The dishwasher is running and all that is left is ironing, and papers to grade and sleep.  Sweet sleep, until tomorrow when it begins all over again.

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