Neighborhood convergence
Neighborhood convergence

I was by myself this weekend. My husband was off not-sleeping, playing round-the-clock games with 20 other like-minded RPGers on Cape Cod. Cape Cod in April totally works if you have no intention of setting foot outside for several days! However, without backup, this weekend seemed like an excellent one to devote to labors. And so I did.

I did the taxes Friday night. Saturday, I did two dishwasher loads, hand-washed the leftovers, five loads of laundry (including hauling downstairs, sorting and folding), culled all the toys upstairs and downstairs, took Grey and Thane to swimming lessons, prepared two meals (in full disclosure, Grey made breakfast for himself and his brother. I only cleaned up the inevitable crumbs.), bathed both boys and cleaned the house.

Sunday, I went to church, made two meals (Grey made breakfast again!), did three more loads of laundry, bought 3/4 of our summer plane tickets (the logistics of the journey are boggling), planned out our vacation requests in detail, and reserved our camp sites for Memorial Day, cleaned the house (AGAIN!) and took the boys bike-riding.

Funland required all the blankets in the house to construct

This fascinating account of my weekend was livened up by a few unexpected occurances. If you look back at that Saturday report, you might note that I used quite a bit of water. Significant amounts even. First world extravagant amounts of laundry. A friend had recently asked for a recommendation for a home inspector, and I forwarded the one we used, saying they’d be right on about the problems we had and hadn’t experienced. Well, that home inspector had indicated that we shouldn’t get too emotionally attached to our hot water heater, ifyouknowhatImeanVerne. And lo. Sunday morning, the water, though it ran and ran, stayed tepid. Yup.

So included in my fun and fantastic Sunday were online investigations of hot water heater options. (For reference, I opted for this one, which is pretty much the only Energy Star model I can get installed this week. Home Depot seriously had NO Energy Star hot water heaters — except the tankless ones, which I lack the time to get installed.) We still don’t have hot water, and I’m not entirely sure when we’ll get it.

I really hate it when I have a weekend like this, that is completely consumed by the labors of life. I get very little time to decompress, and do what I feel like doing. I keep making this choice, to do lots of work. It’s as though I haven’t learned that no matter how much work I do, I’ll never be done. I’ll never be caught up and on top of things. If I don’t make room for myself in my life, it makes me extremely cranky, and it makes it hard to come back to work on Monday and really engage in my labors. I desperately need a day off. (Next scheduled day: May 20th for my brother’s graduation…)

Still, there are always moments of grace. It was really fun hanging out with some of my neighbors and watching our kids ride bikes together. On Sunday after church, Grey began constructing a huge fort he named “Funland”, and telling me over and over again that it was “A dream come true.” (This is why I had to clean the house again. I regret nothing. It was worth it.) My eldest made breakfast two mornings in a row, without complaint. My youngest came up to me several times, twined his sticky arms around my neck and told me, “Mommy, I love you so much.”

So today I will choose to let the rain wash away my memories of work, and leave behind glittering clean memories of the moments that make life worthwhile.

Big boy friends
Big boy friends

Little boy friends
Little boy friends

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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