Moments both intense and slow

This was quite a weekend, as I look back on it. I think it officially began for me Thursday night, when I went to a retirement party for a teacher at my kids' preschool. It was ladies only, and in the gorgeous backyard of a friend's house. The day had been hot, but the temperature dropped to perfect for an evening outside. My friend was worried about parking, so she told everyone to get rides or Uber, which turned out to be a good thing, as she had created a special drink for the evening: a punch that was deceptively strong. I think it involved vodka, citrus, and blueberries, and though all I could taste was the citrus and blueberries, the volume was mostly vodka. I had planned to stay until 9:30. I wound up getting a ride home at 11:30 and the next morning was tough. I was on with the little guy for the day, and I had plans to go strawberry picking, but that did not happen. Instead we played outside, watched Dora, and then he went down for a nap around 12:30.

Ah, nap. With an extremely energetic little kid, nap is what makes life doable. I proceeded to make epic use of his Friday nap. I had thought I would need to wake him to pick my daughter up at 3, but then another mom offered to pick her up for a playdate, so I didn't need to worry about that. I went for a short run on the treadmill, then went in the pool (solo!). I took a nice leisurely shower, made myself a great lunch, then took a 30 minute nap. Upon waking, I read for an hour, finishing Marilynne Robinson's Gilead. Finally, around 3:45, I woke the 2-year-old up. We played until the evening sitter got here.

I had somewhat planned to work, but the older kids had a variety of crises that needed to be dealt with. So the sitter took over with the 2-year-old and I dealt with the 10-year-old, who was very, very upset that my husband and I were going to a concert that night without him (he had decided he was going to see Boss Baby that evening -- but never told anyone about this plan). We worked it out with a nice walk outside, during which he was reminded that he had a lot of other fun stuff coming up over the weekend, and he could do Boss Baby Saturday. Then I went to pick my 5-year-old up at her playdate, and there was an epic meltdown there about a toy that she wanted to borrow, but then no one could find it. The whining continued for quite a while. Eventually, my husband came home, we ate, we took the kids in the pool to blow off some steam, then we took off for Camden around 7:45 p.m.

This was my first time attending a show at the BB&T pavilion, and it was great! I may put more shows there on my future summer fun lists. We had amazing seats (3rd row back) so we had an up-close view of the opening act, Dustin Lynch, and then the main attraction, Brad Paisley. The concert was wonderful. Brad Paisley is such a good showman, and was so solicitous of the audience. He mentioned several times how flattered he was that people were choosing to spend their hard earned money coming to see him. The BB&T place has lawn seating behind the chairs, and Paisley went up to the lawn for a few songs to play for that crowd a bit too. I was surprised how many songs I knew by him. I guess I've been listening to country music in the car with my husband when he's driving more than I realized.

Of course, coming home late a second night in a row made the next morning even more painful. I'd set my alarm for 6:40 to run with Lynda, but then the little guy got up at 4. He yelled and yelled so I brought him into bed with me and told him it was still dark and he couldn't get up. I suspect he just lay there awake (I fell back asleep) because at 5:20 he was pushing me and telling me it was light out, which was true. I took him downstairs to watch The Adventures of Chuck and Friends, falling asleep during every episode, only to be woken up 8 minutes later to forward through the commercials. Ugh, ugh. Finally I got my coffee, got dressed, and drove to meet Lynda to run along the Schuylkill River Trail. We did 6 miles, and though it started raining, it still felt good. 60 degrees is pretty much perfect for running. Six miles is pretty much the perfect length too. Long enough to feel like you've done something, short enough not to hurt.

I guess I can run while sleep-deprived, but the rest of the day dragged. My husband did a lot of the sports runs (karate, baseball). I cleaned the van and made photo books during nap, which ended too early because the 7-year-old had not gotten his baseball outfit out of the room where the toddler sleeps prior to nap commencing, and woke him up when he went in to get it. I took the 2-year-old and 5-year-old on a Target run which sort of needed to happen (everyone needed new shoes) and sort of didn't (because, let's be honest, I wound up with a whole cartful of stuff that wasn't exactly urgent, but in my sleep deprived state seemed critical).

At home, the dragging continued. My husband took the 10-year-old and 5-year-old to see Boss Baby. The 7-year-old and 2-year-old stayed with me. They took a nice bath together with the jets on in the tub. I had agreed to do a radio interview at 9:00 p.m. so the evening was somewhat focused on staying up for that, but I think I was reasonably coherent. If any listeners of WGN in Chicago are reading this, you can let me know.

Sunday morning started way too early again, though I did get a good "nap" between 6-7:15 a.m. I was in such deep REM sleep that the dreams were crazy. The later morning featured church and swim lessons. Nap time featured another run, and watching the kids in the pool, and some reading. Then in the late afternoon we left the toddler with a sitter again and went to iFly, this indoor sky diving place, with our three older kids and a small number of the 10-year-old's friends to celebrate his birthday. I have never done skydiving before -- out of a plane or in a wind tunnel -- and I am pretty sure I will not again after this experience, but I survived. We'd each go in for a minute in turn and try to stay in position as hurricane force winds blew up our noses. I felt like I couldn't really breathe. But I did go up to the top of the chute and down three times with the instructor, and the kids all did great— even the 5-year-old! She tried to exit the wind tunnel after 2 seconds the first time, but then thought better of it and decided to go in for the whole deal. I was very proud of her. Then it was back home to get the kids to bed and start the next week…

So that's the weekend mix. Some really cool highlights (the party, the Brad Paisley concert, the long run, seeing the kids enjoy the skydiving event, even finishing Gilead), and some draggy moments where time seemed to move so, so slow (much of Saturday, and the multiple long early mornings). Such is the nature of life these days, I suppose.

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8 Responses to Moments both intense and slow


  1. shelley says:

    Sounds like a great weekend overall! I have a question about details I’m sure exist among the larger pieces of your life, but as I try to better manage my life, wanted to ask of you: what I don’t see in your recaps are life/house/family maintenance-type activities (that I struggle to fit in myself!) like opening mail, paying bills, cleaning up (the stuff the cleaning lady doesn’t do), etc. How/when do you fit those things in? I tend to do those things when the alternative could be reading or playing with my kids. While I’m working toward outsourcing more of the housekeeping-type things, there are still so many time-consuming things that don’t seem like they can be outsourced.

    • @shelley- I agree that it’s hard to outsource the little things. In my life, those things generally fit in around the edges various places. I was dealing with the mail pile this weekend while I could have been playing with the kids, but I felt pretty dead, so I’m not sure I would have been up to anything much. I may do a post on paper management, as we had quite the pile, but I still think it was better to let it stack up and deal with it all at once vs. doing a little here and there. My husband does most of the bill paying electronically, though if it requires a paper check I deal with it, often in little bits of time between other things.

      • Hilary says:

        I would love to see a post on that. I am a big believer in chucking all mail that I don’t need into the recycling bin when I first enter the house. I try to do the same with any papers in backpacks that don’t need to be kept.

        • @Hilary- we have quite the paper beast around here, once backpack stuff is included. Still trying to figure out the best solution…

      • Jenny says:

        I had also been wanting to ask in general about your suggestions on housekeeping and babysitting. We are on a much more limited budget as I am an (older) Ph.D. student and my husband has a postdoc and we live in an expensive city. I just received a small fellowship to finish my doctoral work and am debating hiring cleaning help because we can spend hours on the big clean on Saturdays. I will also add to my work hours (now only ca. 25 hours per week) with afterschool care or a babysitter. Afterschool programs are still only possible for 2-3 afternoons given our means right now, which means squeezing in more work at night or in the mornings. (My son is also not happy with longer days at school and finds it stressful.) Trying to figure out the best way to get it all done… Honestly, my husband and I need time more than money (or money to buy more time). Do you have a recommendation about housekeeping vs. babysitting, both, etc.?

  2. Jennie says:

    I commented just today that I think of myself as a young person until I spend time with young people and realize that I am decidedly not as young as I once was. I had an activity/concert/get together every night this weekend that involved people younger and/or childless. Today I am dragging. Going to bed at 3 am is a different story when you have to get up at 5 the next morning. (Also my liver doesn’t appreciate a night of cocktails and rich food.) I have professional development today and I’m just thankful I don’t have to lead! My idea of a good time involves more breaks and down time than it used to.

    • @Jennie- my thought about young people this weekend came from looking at the jeans shorts some of the younger ladies were wearing to the Brad Paisley concert. My old fogey thought is that if your pockets hang below the hem of your shorts, your cut-offs are cut too much. But I guess that’s the look!

      I was only out until 11:30 Thursday and Friday. But still it was probably too late! I am looking forward to the little guy sleeping until 7 a.m. on weekends. 7 a.m. It seems like such a modest ask!

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