The 2-year-old continues to be a handful, and to wake up too early. I also had a rather ugly showdown with the 10-year-old about bedtime on Friday night. However, there were a number of moments of near, or genuine relaxation/fun this weekend. Among them:
The impromptu pool party. The boys had a half day Friday to end the school year. My 7-year-old was playing in the neighbor’s sprinkler in the afternoon, and then burst in the door to ask if everyone (like half a dozen kids) could come in our pool. I said I couldn’t watch that many kids on my own, so he tracked down a neighbor dad who could come help out. The weather was pretty decent, and the littler kids agreed to wear life jackets, so it was relatively relaxing to sit there and be able to show kids how to get to our bathroom without worrying about the others still in the pool (because there was a second adult!). And it was also good to get the kids a few hours away from the screens.
Reading on the porch. When the 2-year-old was napping, or when he went with my husband to Costco, I read outside. I finished Willa Cather’s One of Ours, and started and finished Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. The latter had a surprising amount of familiarity of dates and geography for me. She talks of sitting with her daughter by the koi pond in the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine. I used to take my boys there all the time (they have an all-abilities playground there and it was 3 blocks from our apartment). She writes of celebrating her birthday in December of 2003 in the middle of a giant snowstorm. We share a birthday, and I remember that snowstorm well. In other book news, I started, but then abandoned The Little French Bistro. I had read The Little Paris Bookshop, but I couldn’t get into this one. (I will write a post about abandoned books later this week).
The blogger dinner. I had dinner with two blogger friends (one anonymous, one not) and their husbands at Talula’s in downtown Philly. This was a lot of fun. I felt like I knew them well, and knew what they’d been up to, from reading their blogs all these years, so we could get right to talking without all that initial detective work one has to do in less familiar situations. Plus the food was great. When we parked the car at 7:30 the garage attendant told us we had to be out by 11. I assumed that wouldn’t be an issue, but I had my husband set his alarm for 10:30 all the same. Then I didn’t even really think about the time until 10:30. Talk about being off the clock!
The weekend work day. Since I’m covering for my husband for an upcoming Saturday, he decided to cover this Sunday, and take all four kids to Dutch Wonderland (so he didn’t exactly get Father’s Day off…). That meant that from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., I was at the house, solo. I spent the first four hours working on the epilogue/last chapter to Off the Clock. It’s coming along. I wrote about 2500 words. It wasn’t particularly easy, and it needs a lot of work, but I was so absorbed in it that I would lose track of time. I would look at the clock at some point and an hour had passed. Then I looked again and two hours had passed. I think I had only looked at the clock because I was hungry! I love being so into my work that I don’t notice time passing. All about a state of flow.
Solo pool time. It rained on and off Sunday, but around 4:00 the sky cleared up. I had run my daily 5k on the treadmill, so I pumped off part of the pool cover, and went in to cool off. I just wandered around, feeling the pleasant water and staring up at the trees, the blue sky, and the clouds moving along. I read for about half an hour in the pool, finished my book, and then just relaxed. I got out after another 20 minutes but I really had no idea how long it had been. Another off the clock moment!
A walk with the toddler. I really should do this more often. He enjoys walks and he’s strapped in to his stroller so he can’t go anywhere. This makes the experience much more relaxing than playing in our backyard (where he gets into all sorts of trouble). I took him out from 6:30-7 on Sunday, basically to fill the time until bedtime, and it was nice.
Dinner on the porch. My husband bought lobster tails at Costco, so we had those for dinner after the 2-year-old went to bed on Sunday. We decided to eat outside on our back porch. The sun was setting and a breeze made the temperature quite pleasant. In addition to the lobster (with garlic butter) we had a tomato salad, broccoli, and mushrooms. I have been eating well!
Photo: According to Talula’s menu, this recipe for lobster rolls is from Martha Washington. I didn’t know she was near somewhere with a lot of lobster, but maybe!