Lazy Saturdays look great on paper.

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Yesterday I realized that, despite a broken dryer, several blank tax forms, and three music lessons, our Saturday was basically empty. One long stretch of nothing lay ahead for us to fill however we wanted. This hasn’t been the case in a very long time. Usually there are birthday parties, concerts, visitors, previous engagements–all of which are fabulous and delightful, but I am an introvert (I know, hard to tell) and I do like my quiet days.

Except… well. The children’s version of a lazy Saturday is quite different than my own. I don’t understand their need to provide chaos and they don’t get my love for stillness. They look at me perplexed when I glare from behind my book, and I shake my head as they dash by in search of items to chuck from the balcony.

Remember the days before children when it was all dozy and napping and reading as many words as you could stuff yourself with and then venturing out into the gloom for a walk, a bite to eat, a marveling at the accommodating character of the world? Gone, I tell you. All gone.

Now there are piercing shouts and demands. There are thumps and rattles. I’m pretty sure someone just tumbled down the stairs and broke their arms, because what else would warrant that level of hysterical shrieking?

But no, it subsides, without a trip to the emergency room. I didn’t even have to get out of bed.

In a way, of course, this is an improvement on how it used to be when they need more-or-less constant tending. They are all independent enough to recover on their own from things like tumbling down stairs and breaking arms, apparently. They even got their own lunch today–cookies! Clever boys.

And I know it will keep on improving. Someday, one of them will get his driver’s license and we will all taste the freedom.

I watched Olive Kitteredge this week and oh, Ms. McDormand, you are amazing. You were so old! After being so young! And it was this exquisite pain to watch and to know I’ll get old, too, and maybe lose a husband to stroke and a son to bitterness, but still, I welcome it. Life going on and on and on, and hurting so much and then not so much. Like my friend R’s post about clearing away artifacts from her daughter’s childhood. It hurts, but the alternative–to have never had what we have had–are worse. And so there is joy in the hurt.

Gack. I did not mean to get philosophical. I meant to complain a bit about my children and then go back to my book. 

Happy lazy, or busy, Saturdays, my dears.