This week I cooked six meals, packed four lunch bags, polished shiny apples, measured perfect serving sizes, sliced grapes and tomatoes and bread. I wiped peanut butter off the floor, jam off the wall, dabbed a wet paper towel furiously on my new shirt with the fresh ketchup stain. I washed dishes, disinfected sippy cups, stacked plates, swept up crumbs.
I was a firefighter, a policeman, a rock star, a mama-bear, a bumble bee. I wore a helmet, a sword, bright blue beads in my hair, a bib around my neck. I built towers, an airport, a zoo, a bridge crossing an invisible river. I put out fires, dressed and fed the teddy bear, and put a band-aid on the toy monkey’s broken wrist. I drove a spaceship, rode on the back of a motorcycle, operated a bucket truck and a helicopter (possibly at the same time).
I washed muddy, sandy clothes — oh, so many of them! I folded little boy undies and jeans and t-shirts. I cleaned out dressers and closets, making space for yet another size bigger clothes. I ironed grown-up shirts and pants. I fluffed pillows and blankets and arranged stuffed animals in their appropriate sleeping positions.
At my job I “leaned in” and “opted out,” possibly on the same day. I built a website, wrote blog entries, arranged filming schedules, filed files, color-coded Excel sheets. I scheduled meetings. Dazzled my boss. I spoke up, I stood up, I took charge. Then I had to leave early.
I splashed and fished for magical sea monsters. I mopped up the bathroom three times. I shampooed soft, blond hair. I blew bubbles. I changed batteries in the Batman toothbrush and applied the Thomas the Tank Engine toothpaste. I clipped tiny toenails and tickled soft feet.
I sang. I read. I snuggled. I rubbed a skinny, sweaty back. I sang another song. Made up another story — a magical pony named Oakie who becomes friends with a little boy. I fetched another glass of water. Another blanket. Another song. Just one more hug and kiss.
I held a grown-up conversation for, oh, about three minutes. I watched half of a TV show. Two glasses of wine. Some contemplation of writing, staring at a blank screen. Chocolate. Ah, that helps!