Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Hourglass

It's 6 a.m. I sit up in bed, having pushed the snooze button six times without even realizing the alarm was going off. You'd think, by now, I'd have run out of dreamland explanations for why an ungodly siren was ringing in my ear.

Oh, well. The boys should be asleep for two more hours. I'm not too far behind in my morning work.

"Mooooooooooooooooom. Mooooooooooooom."

Richie, 3, has woken up with a tingly hand and is reacting like it is one of the great tragedies of our time.

"My hand, my hand, my haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand."

Johnny wakes up and sulks to the couch.

"I have nothing to do."

Ever since I banned morning T.V. watching, this is the daily refrain. Oddly, I pick up thousands of toys every day. I might not be Angela Lansbury, but I know that somebody is clearly doing something.

J.J., 11 months, wakes up and wants his bottle. No, he wants to crawl around. No, his bottle. He doesn't know what he wants. Everyone is cranky.

Last night I remarked to Justin that all this job searching makes me want to drink up every drop of time with the boys. It's just that I wanted to drink my coffee first.

6:30 a.m. We do worksheets. I'm trying to teach Johnny, 5, to read.

As we complete a counting activity, Richie chimes in.

"One. Five. Eleven," he says.

I've been dedicating so much time to teaching Johnny that I've letting Richie regress.

Where has the time gone? We've been here all year. God knows we wake up early enough to put in a full day of work. And yet I have a list of things to do while the kids are little, and only a few are scratched out.

Time plays this evil trick on us. We spend the first half of our lives in the top the hourglass, watching the sand disappear all around us as we try to keep our footing. Then our kids move away and we retire and we suddenly slip down into the bottom of the hourglass, with more sand than we know what to do with. And it's not going anywhere.

My friend and I lived in my grandparent's condo in Phoenix for a while, where many of the residents were elderly. My friend was waiting for an important letter, so she'd sit by the pool and watch for the mailman. A lot of the older residents would do the same thing every day. Just sit and wait for the mail.

I bet, when their kids were babies and they were making sales calls or rushing around the house, they never thought they'd be doing that. Just waiting for the mail.

7:30 a.m. I pour everybody a bowl of Magic Stars cereal, which is like Lucky Charms except that it gets soggy faster. Their mood improves.

8 a.m. The house falls apart right on schedule. Justin, home with an injured knee, decides to clean out the junk drawer, so now we have a junk kitchen counter. Richie is playing hockey with the flyswatter and a candy wrapper.

Their aunt Mo is picking them up soon to visit their cousins at soccer camp, so they get dressed.

Richie comes into the living room wearing a pale blue Hawaiian shirt, tan jeans, black sandals and a "Yeah, baby," grin.

Johnny is wearing a full soccer uniform.

Seeing him, Richie says, "I thought we were going to church."

Richie gets the wrong memo about everything.

To kill time, we play superheros. I'm the Sandman, the villain from Spiderman. Johnny, not surprisingly, is The Eater, a superhero who eats sand. Richie is Robin, who has no superpowers whatsoever but looks good. I lose miserably, as I always do.

Mo arrives. Time to clean the house. Find some work to do. Run. Run. Run.

Sometimes I think all our wishes come true. It just happens too late to remember what we wished for.

I want more time. And one day, I'm sure that wish will come all too true.


Anonymous mom said...

I'm still waiting for more time!!!!! But I guess when we get it , we'll wish the time would pass more quickly. This is the good part!!! Hang in there. I've never completed a list in my life, but still make them every day!!! love you!!!

12:26 PM  

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