It all started with church,
This idea of getting ready for Monday-
To try on a different approach
To first light morning chaos.

I’d become one of those people
Who write hymns to their crockpots and can tell you
Which days the children
Need gym clothes.

(I am also a person who knows
Anything
Can happen.
Just because I’ve located
My stockings and checked them for tears
Does not mean I believe
I have control
Over tomorrow
Or anything else,
For that matter.)

I head to the gym for
A swim, some sweat,
and some space
To reach and drop
Stretch and bend.
I think about summer.

Maybe next Sunday,
I’ll schedule a pedicure
to get ready for spring
Or my next time at yoga.
At least once a week
I find myself surrounded
By well groomed women
In two tone leggings
Doing down facing dog.
In position, I’m faced with
Feet that scream neglect
Even louder than my kids
When I suggest last week’s
Corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

This evening-
One extra load, one last check with each kid
Do you need pencils?
Do you need a ride?
Tell me now because
You are old enough to know
I have no idea
When your recital will be, except that it will probably happen between now
and the first week of May.

Let me know whether your first game is at home or away.
Tell me, or text me,
Then tell me, or text me again.
I don’t care you don’t want me to be there.
I’ll put on sunglasses,
Wear the other team’s colors
and probably show up twenty minutes
After it’s over.

Coffee is measured,
Fruit is sliced,
Clothes selected, inspected,
Heels lean in the hallway.

Lunch is tucked inside tupperware,
This is good.
It won’t go bad
When I forget it tomorrow.
The world won’t come to an end.

(I know this because
I’ve devoted most of my life
doing everything I can to avoid
getting ready for anything
and so far… well, look outside.
You know what i’m saying?)

I spent an hour an a half doing
Everything I do every morning
in about twenty minutes.

And I still haven’t brushed my damned teeth.

or had a drink

or read the Sunday paper.

I’m ready for Monday
Though I’m carrying a bit of a grudge.

I like now,
Sunday night,
the moments before the alarm.

I like now.

.

This was one of those weekends.

Friday night was a workshop at our church about conflict run by  Reverend Eric Dawson and his wife, Tammy Tai. I wish I could do it justice, I can’t. I will say ages from 6 to 65 were present, there were snacks, and games, and laughter. I think we all walked away with a heightened awareness of what they referred to as our “escalators”- factors that intensify our responses to conflict. My escalator is when my son gives me the dead eye stare, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but if you have,  you know what I’m talking about.

Today was easy, for me anyway. The day started with an extended dog walk. My friend invited someone that doesn’t usually join us on our morning stroll. This newcomer brought her dog, a puggle, and before we even got to our spot, this puggle had pooped all over the back of my friend’s car. It didn’t bother me, it wasn’t my car, and I experienced that wonderful moment -“thank God my dog didn’t poop all over the back omy friend’s car.”  It was not our usual dog walk on a Saturday morning. But the snow falling made the world look pretty. It wasn’t cold. I needed the exercise, and so did Sophie, the most amazing of dogs. She’d never poop in a car. Right after we brought her home from the pound I took her for a ride. She waited until I got to our destination to throw up. And she didn’t even know me that well.

Saturday afternoon I spent home with kids. We watched Glee. I talked about canceling my plans. They talked me into going out. I blew dry my hair. Is there anything more boring than blowdrying hair? My hair is shoulder length and thick so it takes a long, long time. At the gym I read magazines while I wave the dryer around. At home all we have are National Geographics and Sports Illustrated for Kids. Not entertaining material for vanity projects like making curls fall into long straight waves. And my blowdryers old, so it’s loud. If I turned the radio up, the neighbors would think my kids were having a party.

So I sucked it up, dried the hair, put on the dress and went to the party with one of my favorite people in the world, Julie Baker. You’ve probably seen her on Twitter, or Facebook, or out on one of her sweaty walks. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have gone.  It was snowing, and I like to stay home in bad weather, and I’m lazy, and there’s that hair thing I mentioned… I don’t blow dry my hair for a night at home with my kids.

We went to the benefit, Dances for Hope, a cause that helps St. Judes Hospital. We volunteered at the door. We were responsible for checking people in, figuring out who merited VIP status, who ranked as a sponsor and making sure they got the appropriate wrist band. The power, the responsibility… Actually, not really. People seemed pretty honest, I didn’t meet any gate crashers. Just checked off the names and gave out the bracelets.

And then, since our service entitled us to VIP status, we went upstairs for cocktails and snacks. Free cocktails and snacks are pretty exciting to me, I’m currently a little “cash poor,”  (meaing we’re broke, but doesn’t that sound so much better? It implies that I have property, or stock, or something other than cash, but I’m everything poor. For the record.) So I gobbled down crab puffs in filo, and bread pudding in cups, and salmon in paper whenever the waiter came by. I was drinking rum and diet coke and I didn’t want to make an ass of myself. It was a benefit. And I wanted to dance without wobbling.

The first dance was the Wobble. That was pretty stupid. Nobody knew it, myself included, but it was short. After that, the DJ played a million songs. Why do they always have to mash everything up? Aren’t there any songs out there that merit being played from point a to point z? Maybe it’s helpful when trying to satisfy the Michael Jackson demographic simultaneously with the Pitbull Jay Z crowd. It was fun dancing. It got  a little intimidating when all of the professional dancers came on the floor. Did I mention there were professional dancers? And that they came on the dance floor? 

I wish they’d stayed on the stage, and gone somewhere else to boogie afterwards. I don’t mean to sound like an ass but when I get on the dance floor I don’t want to look over at a professional being amazing. I want to glance at some idiot swaying out of time and a couple doing a waltz and a whole bunch of girls laughing and trying out the macarena.

It was fun, even with all the Fred and Gingers showing their stuff. And then it was time to go home. Kids were waiting, and dogs needed to be walked. 

Actually the kids would have been thrilled if I’d stayed out. And the dogs were sleeping. But it was time.

 I’m home now. Tomorrow is the science fair. Monday is the JFK Library. In between, there are meals, and laundry and showers and dog walks and a million other details; if I listed them all I’d never, ever get up in the morning.

Ten years ago, I never liked getting up in the morning. I hated it; I’d sleep until noon. Now I do. I think it is truly the best thing I can say about my life… I like waking up to my life.

But this was one of those weekends. I think tomorrow I will have to sleep in.