Wake up at 7:45am, pull up yesterday’s jeans, braid hair to hide the bedhead. Find Bea already up and dressed.
Make breakfast and lunch at the same time – savour the Valley strawberry jam on my English muffin. Wonder if perhaps I’m packing too much food – she’s 9 and leaving home for eight hours, not a trucker traveling for eight days.
Out the door by 8:25—five minutes late. Am silently thankful it isn’t hot yet; my face won’t get sweaty and make yesterday’s grease extra shiny. (Remember too late that I forgot to wash my face.) Walk fast to make up lost time.
Arrive at the theater slightly out of breath. Shake hands with the director, turn to say farewell, discover that she has already joined the game, and hasn’t looked back.
Take the stairs and realise Bea can be spied on from the pedway. Glimpse just long enough to emit a silent prayer that she will have fun, and make a new friend. Hop on the bus to get home faster, hoping to find a few minutes alone with Henry, before Letty wakes.
Find a newspaper on the bus, read first the horoscopes and then skim an article on an upcoming preliminary hearing. Feel heavy hearted for a women I’ve never met, and all those that loved her.
Transfer buses. Wish I felt less frumpy when an attractive man steps aside to let me board first. Remember that because of opposing work schedules I have spent 26 minutes with my husband in the last four days. Arrive home with the sick realization that walking would have been faster.
Spend a few minutes with Henry before he heads to bed. Interrupted by Letty seeking breakfast. Fix her a plate of sliced banana bread and orange wedges while she rattles on about Minecraft.
Return to bed for a snuggle and a story. Re-read “Who has What?” and “What’s in There?” Wonder if anyone has ever been as proud and excited to have a uterus as she.
Convince Letty to get dressed. She chooses her polka dot tights, polka dot skirt, striped shirt, polka dot jacket and mermaid rubber boots. Try not to be outwardly shocked that the mix of dots and stripes looks good together. Instantly remember I know nothing about fashion having grown up in the Grunge era. Briefly miss the big brown wool sweater that hung to my knees and paired well with long johns worn as pants.
Arrive at the hairdresser, happy to find the round, chatty lady isn’t working yet. Watch Letty have her hair chopped off, all the way up to her chin.
Splash in puddles all the way back home. Hop in the shower, wonder where the day went. Scramble eggs and make smoothies for lunch. Console the cat, crying for the big girl. Ms. Kitty, much like myself, is happiest when all her babies are home. Wake Henry. Grab a quick hug. Rush to the bus stop.
Arrive at work. Feel tired. Crave a Kit-Kat bar, but the vending machine is out. Chit-chat with co-workers. Send some emails. Work on a report. Forgo break in lieu of a phone chat with the best gal pal. Put out some small fires. Pack up to head home.
Discover that my Mother, with my children in tow, has come to pick me up. Bombarded with details of theatre camp. “Lunch was great! Bella is my new best friend! Tomorrow I need to bring a costume, but I don’t know what to bring!” (Suggest the Mary Queen of Scots dress leftover from Halloween, or the harried mother-bathrobe look. Get denied.) “Someone is allergic to dairy and nuts so I didn’t eat my lunch because I was sure there are milk products in my cookies, and I didn’t want to accidentally kill my new friends. What should I take for lunch tomorrow?”
Stop for lunch supplies. Everyone tumbles out of the car. Five minute trip takes 25. Buy bagels, pizza sticks, yogurt, avocados, cherries and chocolate croissants. Encourage Letty to climb into the bottom basket to aid in speed and efficiency. Pretend not to see the women shaking her head at my parenting skills.
Arrive home to dark house. Offer reward to child who is first to apply pajamas and brush their teeth. Tuck in Bea, and shut the light. No reading the night way, when morning is scheduled to come too early.
Agree to re-read Letty’s morning books in exchange for an easy bedtime. Try to think of the proper response when she asks “if everyone comes from a uterus, where did the first uterus come from?” Think of Adam’s rib, and monkeys. Use the old standby, “I’m not sure, ask Daddy tomorrow.” Melt a little when she asks me to kiss her “Poor Head” (forehead) goodnight. Rejoice at the glimpse of my baby in this fast growing child.
Mentally write tomorrow’s “To Do List” until her eyes shut and breathe evens out. Carry her into her own bed.
Brush teeth. Feed the cats. Prepare tomorrow’s lunch box. Double check locks. Text love to the husband, relieved he will be home for four days in a mere 7 hours. Stumble to bed. Remember too late that I still haven’t washed my face.