Yesterday was a day, a pretty rotten day. I tried to shake it a couple of times, but like a load of laundry that sat in the washer too long, the foul aroma would resurface and remind me that, “Yup, this day blows.” I had a lot to do so I put my head down and tried to churned through it, but honestly, everything was tainted with failure and discontent, perceived or real, it didn’t really matter.
I sent an email, by all standards the request for information was innocuous request, yet it resulted in a terse response that made my cheeks flame. Then there was the email of rejection. Fun! When I tried to heat up our lunch I discovered that the microwave had been moved to our new office space. No worries, we can eat it cold, I thought. Cold lunch needs a chaser, I would’ve grabbed a drink, but, you know, fridge was at the other office. Water? No, water cooler was dismantled because the new space has water fountains.
Another barrage of emails came through, each variations on an, “I know you suggested/asked for/hoped on such and such, but we’re going to…” theme. When it was finally time to leave I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew I’d be going home to a new wood stove and I planned to fire it up and dive into pjs. I drove calmly, plenty of time to make the bus stop. I didn’t turn the radio wanting, wanting instead to just let the day slip from my shoulders. I looked in the rearview mirror and took a breath, the strange raccoon-like red mask on my face that had appeared out of nowhere as I left this morning, was finally starting to fade.
I watched the mountains to the west, clouds floating over peacefully. I was about halfway home when a truck passed me, my entire car listed to the side from the rush of air in its wake. As it snapped back, a rock hit the window. It was the most emphatic sound, not quite a fuck you, but close, as the spot it it hit bloomed into a small, but undeniable crack on my windshield. I was crestfallen.
“No matter, ” I thought. “Just get home, the window is fine. Shake it off.”
The girls made their staggered arrival home and we began the never-fluid dance of snacks, homework, dinner prep, and chores. I boiled noodles for lasagna (overcooked them, burned my fingers, and dropped a steamy f-bomb to which I heard a, “Mom, language.”). Briar worked painstakingly on her math homework, occasionally looking at her sisters and chiming in on one thing or another. After about 90 minutes she as done. We all worked together on creating vessels from recyclables (apparently today is a significant recycling day and they must wear green and bring in these things. I always seem to miss the build-up and instead slam headlong into the “But mom, we have to!” wall).
When Sean came home we cleaned up the table and the girls jockeyed for position to help start the fire. They carried the scraps of cardboard and paper that they hadn’t used and perched along the slate stage to wait their turn. Sean gave them a run-down on how the stove works and the rules for what they can and cannot do. At one point they were looking for more paper and I gathered the last stack from the table.
“Ok, B, have a look at this and just make sure that nothing here needs to be kept or returned to school. She rifled through Book Fair notices and sign up sheets for clubs. “Nope, all set,” and she shot back over to the fire.
Later, as I was cleaning up after dinner I asked the girls to pack their bags and find their green outfits. Finley and Avery disappeared in a plume of, “Let’s go get greeeeeen!” Briar moved slower and so I began stacking stuff next to her folder.
“B, where’s your math homework?” I asked. She didn’t respond. “B? Briar.” She turned to me, “Where is your homework, sweets?” I asked.
She looked around, “I’m not sure. Finley had it.”
“No, I didn’t. I did not have your homework, Briar. I DID NOT TOUCH IT,” Fin spat.
“Yes, you did!” Briar responded, more from reflex than anything. I let them spar for a minute and then said, “B, you have to find it. You didn’t burn it did you?”
“No, I looked at the papers.” She said, her voice trailing off.
After a thorough search we determined that while the dog did not eat her homework, Briar did in fact burn it.
I could tell you about searching for the worksheet on the NY Engage site. I could tell you about finding the pages after a 30 minute search with a “You’re doing it wrong” 9 year old over my shoulder, and sending screen caps to the office for Sean to print out. I could tell you about how the print outs didn’t come home. I could also just say:
Thank God it’s (language) Friday.