It's a little blurred and a little dull. Lately it's all routine and no salk vaccine.
(I googled "words that rhyme with routine" in the hopes of finding an inspiring match. I didn't find an inspiring match. Instead I found words such as wide screen, propylene, slot machine and salk vaccine. I'm going to run with it.)
I'm good at getting the daily checklist done. I pay the bills on time, we rarely run out of clean underwear, I fill out ALL THE FORMS (when you have little kids there are billions of forms), and our fridge is cleared of rotten produce regularly (annually, but whatever). If the rental house has a busted dishwasher, I'm all over it. If Oscar is due for his shots and/or flea medication, done and done. If Bobo hasn't pooped in two months yet again then -- KABLOWIE! -- it's time for another sh*t-inducing warm bath for everyone's favorite lizard.
None of this is particularly bad but none of it is particularly life-giving either. I'm guessing most people feel this way about their daily lives. It's a slog, man, the daily grind. It's all routine and no arithmetic mean.
You've got to break free sometimes and do something radical, something insane.
I think you know where I'm going with this --
You've got to go nuts and learn how to throw pottery on a wheel
I've always wanted to learn how to throw pottery on a wheel. The movie Ghost likely has something to do with this, though admittedly I would feel uncomfortable if some guy came up behind me while I was sitting in my class and started kissing my neck. I would be more, "What the hell is wrong with you, guy?" than "Take me on this pottery wheel while I pretend you're Patrick Swayze."
Throwing clay on a wheel is hard. To make matters more intimidating, there are many people in my class who have years of experience. They sit down and touch the clay and beautiful things spring forth from their strong and capable hands. I, however, touch the clay with the grace of a t-rex and usually spin it right off the wheel -- *thunk* -- into the chest of the unfortunate person sitting next to me. I *dab dab* their shirt delicately with a wet rag and promise to work very hard on the centering step so it doesn't happen again.
There's one woman in the class who's a beginner like me. We have thus gravitated towards each other and hunker down at neighboring wheels in the far corner. We can be found back there either muttering a string of the foulest swear words you can imagine or laughing uncontrollably with tears streaming down our faces and flowing down our arms -- which is handy since one must keep one's hands wet when throwing on a wheel.
We're beginners in the far corner throwing wonky looking pottery made with our own tears. There's something really great and appropriate about that.
My new friend's clay spun off her wheel last week and hit me in the side of the head and it was all downhill from there. When she accidentally poked a hole right through the side of her wobbly vessel, she proclaimed, "Oh thank God, that's exactly what I wanted it to look like." When my own jacked-up piece of work couldn't take it anymore and flopped over on itself, I put my arms up and announced, "I think it's obvious I have learned all there is to know here, I'm ready to teach!"
The teacher comes over to us often but there's little she can do to stem the insanity happening in our corner. Last time she gave us some pointers and said, "It's so frustrating to learn this and I love that you guys are laughing and not giving up." Then I said, "Well, at least we're not throwing things yet" and received a collective groan from the class. It was my first public pun and my first collective groan and I feel good about that.
The kids crashed our date night last weekend. Alex and I were set for a nice dinner at Salty's with a heart-swelling sunset view of downtown across the water. Our time alone is rare these days and we had much to catch up on. But then our babysitter didn't show.
After a brief deliberation, we decided to keep our reservation and expand it from 2 people to 4 people.
Hey kid, what are you doing on my date?
It ended up being a good decision. It was a truly enjoyable family dinner at a nice restaurant and those are hard to come by. Plus now I know what Coco looks like through a pink balloon --
So this little girl is turning 5 this weekend. Here she is climbing her aunts' tree and marveling at her feat as only a kid can --
Damn, she's five already. When did that happen? I often feel I'm missing a large chunk of my kids' childhoods because I've got my head down too much, stuck in the boggy details of daily living. More often than not it's "Coco, I can't read you a book right now, I've got to get dinner started." I hate that but in the moment it's fatigue and trying to check the boxes for the day so I can go to bed.
It's the ole paradox of parenting -- the days last forever but the years go so fast.
I'm going to promise Coco this year will be different. I WILL read that stupid book I'm sick of for the umpteenth time and feed everyone bologna sandwiches for dinner. She's not going to stay young and cuddly and thinking I'm awesome for long so I better live it up.
It's all routine and no time machine,