So many nights this week, I’ve turned this computer on and just sat here. Always after I’d finally gotten the boys bathed, jammied, storied and in bed. OK, so some nights the bath didn’t happen, but the jammies always did and so did the goodnight prayer, so I’d call that a success and I’d sit. And then it would be really quiet in the house, and I’d think about it and decide it really wasn’t a success after all because I’d lost my patience right at the end there, and I used not-the-nicest voice, and when I delivered more cups of water to each bedroom it was with a frowny face instead of a smiley one.
So I’d go back in and kiss their sweet heads whispering that I loved them, and I’m just tired which of course is my problem and not theirs. I’d pad back out here with my hair in a messy ponytail and stare again. Sometimes at the blank screen, sometimes at the wall, sometimes at the TV. Occasionally, I’d mess around trying to create the perfect Pandora station. None of it though, could take away just how insanely tired I felt. Then I would think about John and the rest of the group in Africa, and how they’re up at 5 a.m. to carry around bricks and climb homemade ladders, and then I’d feel pretty stupid. And then I would think of all the people in the world who do that every day but with worse circumstances and worse ladders, and then I’d feel even more stupid. I’d be hopeful that the mere realization that I was being a ninny would make me alert and inspired….and that maybe I’ll write something I’m happy with, and plan the menus for the week, and organize the photo cabinet.
And then maybe I’d teach the boys how to make lasagna and I’d take down the mountain of t-shirts I haphazardly toss on the top shelf of the closet, find a few to give away, and perfectly refold the rest organizing them by color. While I’m at it, I’ll get down under all the beds and couches and deal with whatever I find there. I’ll write that stray thank you note from July. I’ll take care of the backlog of birthday, baby, anniversary and graduation cards and presents that haunt me every time I look at my calendar. I’m going to once-and-for-all get rid of the candy shelf by the fridge, replace it with dried fruit, carob chips, and almonds, and then rearrange the Tupperware. But I don’t. So I turn this computer off…the computer that feels more like an enemy now than a friend, and wonder if maybe I’ve very recently, just this week in fact, developed a not-too-serious, but just-serious-enough medical condition that makes me tired and unproductive. That must be it. I’ll probably be able to get a very sappy and concerned sounding note from my doctor.
So now instead of sitting comatose in front of the computer, I’m laying in the dark wondering how soon I should go in to get my diagnosis confirmed. Gah – forget it. I don’t want to have to make an appointment. You know what? I’m going to start going to the gym again, and I’m going to be so much more disciplined about morning devotions and eating almonds and carob chips and then….then I’ll have the energy I need.
But then today, the day we’ve been counting down to, is finally here. John and the group arrive on UAL flight 977 at 11:23 am. A journey that began three flights, four stops, four countries, and two days ago. The parents, siblings and nervous teenage boyfriends with their flower bouquets (how cute is that?) cheer and clap and whoop and holler as our loved ones descend the escalator. My boys even stop punching each other long enough so they can cheer too. It’s very exciting. Exciting for us and for the kids…confusing for the people on the escalator who are not with our group.
The big smiles on the travelers’ faces begin to wane as the minutes tick by and the wait for their luggage extends. There’s a lot of hugging, and a little bit of crying. But once the carousel starts up again, the wistful looks disappear, and people get back to business, snatching their belongings and high-tailing it out of the automatic doors into the sunshine, presumably to eat a burger and take a nap.
Once our now reunited family gets home, John hangs in as long as he can, listening to the boys march around earnestly blowing their new vevuzelas (thanks John!)…even taking them to the park before finally collapsing into a well deserved slumber.
And now here I sit… quiet house, three sleeping boys, cool new Pandora channel, and finally more typing than staring. Feeling like no less of a ninny for moping around exhausted, but buoyed enough where I think I’ll keep that candy shelf after all.