I am a winter kind of person. I don’t ski, I don’t snowboard, and I fail every year to get my snow tires applied before the snow falls, but still–winter is grand. I love the whole being indoors thing. I love the need for sweaters and wool socks and fires in the fireplace. I love when shit gets cancelled.
I’m one of the lucky ones. When we get that early morning phone call that sends our kids into spasms of no-school joy, my first thought isn’t, “Where are they going to go while I go to work?” Nope. My first thought is, “Ooooh, pancakes.” My job is one that can be easily done from home, and I have understanding bosses, and after years of freelancing while babies hung about underfoot, I’ve become remarkably efficient and two-brained when it comes to working at the kitchen table. Hey, that’s where I am right now! So yes, cancellations are almost always a reason to celebrate.
This weekend is the first to feel like winter. It’s not snowing out, though it did earlier in the week, and it isn’t as cold as it will be. But I’m tucked in a chair at the kitchen table wearing a hand-me-down sweatshirt that’s such a bizarre blue I’d never wear it out of the house, and there are cats anchoring my stacks of paper, and the boys are arguing in a way that lets me know they’re healthy but isn’t quite annoying. And though I’m feeling like the pressure of the work week has spilled over into the weekend (there are so many things to do [weeps quietly]), I’m also feeling that sense of snug capability I only seem to access in winter.
Oh. The boys have erupted.
But still! Cozy!
And the youngest boy just requested, not quite with a whine, that we watch the rest of Harry Potter 6. “No!” I cry. With conviction. “Work! Working! Later! Promise!” So now he’s exploring the food cabinets. Which are fairly empty. I mean, there’s plenty of food, but it’s all the kind of food out of which you make other food. None of it is superficial enough to satisfy his current desire.
I know I only have a limited number of minutes with which to feel accomplished. It isn’t even accomplished I’m feeling, it’s more like the potential for accomplishment. This is the thing about parenthood that I keep having to relearn, even after nearly 15 years of this gig–whatever you are doing, whatever is important to you in the moment, a boy will interrupt. It’s what they do.
I mean, they do other stuff. They play soccer in the freezing rain, they dress up as Navy men when their girlfriends want them to, they do a million back flips until they get it right. But mostly, they interrupt.
Like right now. One boy is telling me he’s heading out to the trampoline in shorts and T-shirt, even in this freezing rain, and the other is delivering the mail to my side and flipping through catalogues with a commentary on my wardrobe in general, my current weird blue sweatshirt in particular. And all the while, I’m typing.
And I wonder if they’ll read this someday. Probably not today, or tomorrow, or anytime soon, because while they know I’m a writer and they know I have a blog, it wouldn’t occur to them to read the blog. But maybe when they’re ancient and parents themselves, they’ll stumble across my work and recognize themselves inside of it. I hope they know I’m not complaining. At least not in a serious way.
I hope they know I love them best, even over writing.