I am coming off an almost golden weekend, chiefly because I got enough sleep.
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But perhaps the causality is not quite so simple. Here's another data point: Two weekends ago I also got plenty of sleep. The last waking act I committed was, on Friday afternoon, to make a pot of chicken soup*, and then -- as soon as Mark got home -- I crawled into bed with a box of tissues and a bag of cough drops and stayed there until, oh, three or four o'clock on Sunday. I did emerge, wrapped in a blanket, to watch Blue's Clues with the 2-year-old while everyone else went to Mass.
It was great. I love it when I'm just sick enough to stay in bed and not be bothered, and there's actually someone else around to take care of everyone else and make it possible. There's something wonderfully decadent about feeling just bad enough to justify spending the day in bed, and it's truly a luxury to be able to afford it -- because of a background of good health and another adult in the family who can take over for a couple of days.
I thought a lot about Jen Fulwiler during those hours, counting my blessings and offering them up. I'd have offered my sufferings, what with being sick and all, but as you can see I was enjoying it far too much to make that possible.
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Again, that was two weekends ago. I wrote on Facebook that my second superpower is, apparently, the ability to get sick on Friday afternoon and be up and about by Monday morning.** But this past weekend I still felt kind of draggy, draggy enough that I rolled over and went back to sleep when my Saturday morning alarm went off.
That's a big deal. Normally I flee the house on Saturday mornings, desperate for a few hours to myself. The thought of an omelette and a bottomless cup of coffee and a Wi-fi connection in a busy Lyndale Avenue café that opens at 6:30 a.m. is plenty motivation for me to roll out of bed and get started on a string of solitary errands. Not this weekend. I didn't wake up until 8:30 when children were jumping on me.
So I got up, and Mark made coffee, and I made waffles and topped them with my stealthily-purchased, carefully-hdden half-pint of fresh blueberries. As I munched on my waffles, I pondered the lovely feeling of having slept until late in the morning. Over the waffles I made a deal with Mark that we would go to Mass at five o'clock and then we would sleep in on Sunday, which meant that I had to run my errands (and go to the gym, and have lunch) in a space of about four hours.
He agreed, and offered to do the quarterly big-box discount-store dry-goods shopping while I was gone. Now that's a good husband.
I ran some errands (library, office supply store), went to the gym and ran three miles, and then took myself out for a Vietnamese iced coffee and a killer bowl of bún bò Huế for a late lunch at Quang. It had to be done.
(Man, if I ever move away from this town, one thing I'm going to miss are the Vietnamese restaurants. Never lived in a town that had so many good ones, unless you count Lyon -- and back then I was distracted by other food. Vietnamese restaurants are so well-integrated here that it's not terribly unusual to see bánh mì sandwiches on lunch menus among the reubens and bacon cheeseburgers.)
I made it back home in time to help put the paper towels and dish soap and toothbrush family-packs away, and then we went to Mass in time to send those who wanted to go into Confession first, and then it was back home for a late supper of falafel-from-a-box and coleslaw. Mark and I split a big Belgian-style ale*** and stayed up late.
And that --- letting the dinner dishes sit and the children run away to play video games while the two of us kill a bottle together --- is about as good as domestic bliss gets around here.
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Sunday was for sleeping in. I sent a child to fetch bacon from the basement freezer, and we made enough so that everyone could have LOTS (three whole strips!), plus I baked a batch of cinnamon drop biscuits -- read, ordinary drop biscuits with extra sugar and cinnamon added, and more sprinkled on top, so that no one felt the need to drown them in honey. I don't think we had breakfast till 10:15, which is CRAZY.
I sat around in my pajamas and read stories to kids. Mark wandered around in a bathrobe with a cup of coffee and occasionally moved pieces around on the chessboard, which was spread out among the breakfast dishes. After a while we wandered downstairs (I dragged a blanket with me to wrap myself in) and sat amongst the junk in our kid-cave, discussing plans for it.
See, we have a basement that's a sort of half-hearted kid-cave. We've already hit the maximum finished square footage we are allowed by the city to have in our house, so we can't "finish the basement" (well, we could, but we'd be breaking the law). There's some drywall up to separate the space into a pantry, a shop, and a kid-cave, and there's a big carpet scrap on the floor, and a pile of mattresses under a dozen or so climbing holds that Mark bolted to the wall, and a 10-year-old TV/DVD combo (with a cathode ray tube in it!) and a bunch of shelves that are supposed to store toys but generally stand empty.
Our new project is to transform the basement into a better kid cave -- and here's the key -- without actually "finishing" it. In the legal sense.
So we made some plans -- drew them in pencil on the wall, because you can do that when your basement is unfinished -- for more climbing holds and a real climbing-wall mat and such -- and then we went upstairs and bought a flat-screen TV with a tilting wall mount, so we can get rid of the old TV and the shelves right away. At least as soon as it gets here.
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Somewhere in there we ate cereal and crackers and canned kippers for lunch. And then I did my school planning while everyone else cleaned up the kitchen. And then we went out for cheeseburgers and fries so we wouldn't have to clean the kitchen again. and I ATE A WHOLE PLATTER OF CHEESEBURGER AND FRIES BECAUSE I DO THAT SOMETIMES AND IT WAS GOOD. It was Surly Sunday at the cheeseburger place (think Five-Guys style, only locally owned and with local beer) and so I split a Furious with Mark and leaned back and felt the mild buzz and felt full of cheeseburger and beer and listened to the kids chattering about Mario Kart and DAMMIT I was happy.
And then we came back to my clean house and played board games with the kids until bedtime.
And I swear it does not get better than this, forever and ever amen.
*recipe here, except I didn't have any potatoes and used a can of hominy instead, and it turned out great
**My first superpower is the ability to decide, just in the nick of time, that I really need to check on the kids. Once I found my two-year-old, and H.'s, having just dumped a 5-lb sack of sugar on the driveway, on their hands and knees just about to start licking it up.
***technically, brewed by Samuel Adams, but it tasted fine with falafel-from-a-box