Tomorrow, FireDaddy will return home after 11 days on the Appalachian Trail.
My intent for these eleven days was to have one fun, relaxing day after another with my girlies – visiting family, swimming, beaching, hitting the gym. Unfortunately, my hopes did not come true.
Instead, we spent our time taking doggies to the vet, getting eyes dilated, hairs trimmed, roots colored, and running other non-thrilling sorts of errands. I changed batteries in chirp-chirp-chirping smoke detectors, paid bills, anguished over budgets, made service calls, and scheduled appointments for still more doctors and dentists. I accumulated piles of books and various household items for an impending garage sale and piles of decorations for next year’s classroom, applied for a part-time job, washed/dried/folded/hung laundry, and washed/dried/put away dishes. I reserved hotel rooms for our upcoming road trip, had Big Boy microchipped, registered dog tags, reregistered car tags, and cleaned out my refrigerator. I rose around six with the doggies each day, while my girlies blissfully slept till nine or ten. I baked blueberry scones, Mediterranean chicken, and fresh pound cake. I filled the baby pool and emptied the trash. I’ve washed booboos and blankies, heads, hands & toes… and everything in between. I fussed when they bickered, and nagged when they destroyed the den and their room and my room and the office. I’ve answered countless times each day, “How many more days till Daddy gets home?” and “How many more days till our trip?” I hugged and held them as they cried, fed them when they were hungry, and reached the cups when their throats were dry.
All of this is not to imply that I’ve been entirely miserable…don’t get me wrong. During the past eleven days of uninterrupted girliness – I’ve introduced my girlies to the Bangles, Madonna, and Barbara Mandrell, as well as continued to expose them to pretty-much-inappropriate current tunes. We’ve kept up with the latest Disney Radio tunes, and counted down to the big Disney premiere of Sixteen Wishes. We’ve played games, held our breath under water and felt the wind in our hair as we sailed down the road with the sunroof open (ahem…in my brother-in-law’s truck). We’ve stayed up late and cuddled in the night. Together, we’ve danced the Cha Cha slide, the Chicken Dance, and our very best ballet and jazz.
Coming from a mother who prides herself on being able to do it alone, I’m POOPED. On nights like these, maybe a girl truly needs to stand in her kitchen with nothing but a glass of wine, a fresh slice of pound cake, and a Zune stocked with ridiculously old songs to keep her company. It’s nights like these that I close my eyes and see myself standing in front of my white whicker dresser, and look into my own eyes in that familiar whicker framed mirror – so vivid and real that I am positive the cold mirror would meet my hand if I were to reach my fingers out far enough.
It’s funny how some things have grown so much easier over the years – like skipping songs, once a careful lifting and lowering of a needle, now a simple click of a button. Yet, other things – like the long, hot days of summer “freedom” – have grown so much harder.
When I was little, I loved Barbara Mandrell. She was beautiful. She could sing, dance, and play more instruments than I could tally. I played her records over and over and over again in my room until I’d memorized all the lyrics. I was thrilled when Daddy took us to the Maude Cobb see Lee Greenwood --- because he had recorded a duet record with Barbara Mandrell. I was worried and afraid for her when she was badly injured in the car accident. I loved Barbara Mandrell.
It’s funny how songs can take you away to another place. Take you back in time. The familiar click-click, click-click of the needle passing over blank lines between songs is fresh in my ears. Where is that click-clicking now? We push a button to skip forward and skip backward…there is no waiting. No pauses. Like MP3 files, the hours, days, weeks all flow seamlessly together on autoplay.
It’s halfway through 2010 already. My babies are seven and four. My anniversary is next week and my birthday is close behind. I’m turning 33 and I’ve been married for ten years. FireDaddy and I’ve been together for 14. Where has my life gone??? Hell, where did these 11 days go??? Before I know it, I’ll be hunting down plastic duo-tang folders and sending my girlies off to 2nd grade and VPK.
My throat is tight and lumpy; my eyes sting.
I miss the soft, scratchy static and click-clicking between songs.