The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind with work deadlines and general feelings of being unsettled and of wanting to eat nothing but chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been busy and stressed, and Mike has been busy and stressed, and the dog has gone unwalked and the the groceries have gone unpurchased and the laundry has gone unlaundered. Last night we went out and stocked the cupboards and swept the floors and I threw several loads of laundry into the wash (and even remembered to move them into the dryer) and life all of a sudden is feeling more balanced.
I wonder how people with kids do this every day, with work and life and keeping wee little people alive all day long — it’s just Mike and I and the dog and the cats and yet somehow it sometimes gets to the point where there is only a half-rotten papaya and some stale bread in the fridge — but I hope to someday find out, because a lot of the time I have this nagging feeling that our little family isn’t quite DONE yet, like there are little Butlers out there who are smart and funny and will probably need both glasses AND braces, and I really want to meet them, to find out if they’ll be good spellers and bad at math, or quadratic equation wiz kids who can barely manage text speak.
We saw someone at church on Sunday that we haven’t seen for a few years, and he asked us how many kids we have, and when Mike informed him we don’t have any, he demanded to know how long we’ve been married (almost 7 years) and exclaimed that we were really SLOW, and it kind of stung, and I felt a small taste of how much a proclamation like that would sting a couple for whom the delay was unrelated to the process of slogging through actuarial exams and was rather for other, more heartbreaking reasons.
This wasn’t even really what I had planned to write about when I sat down here. Mike is at a work function this evening, so I had whole wheat pancakes and fresh strawberries for dinner, which I made while listening to really loud music and ate while surfing the internet, and then I took the dog for a walk, and I was thinking about how nice it was to have a quiet evening to myself, how sometimes I’m not in a hurry to complicate our lives by adding a munchkin into the mix, how some people would knock their own mothers down in the street just for a chance at a few hours to themselves … and I somehow ended up thinking that I have no idea how anyone even SURVIVES being a parent but that surviving NOT being a parent seems more and more like the bigger challenge all the time, and that all of this would be so much better if there were more of us to enjoy it with.