The children are all now asleep. I have a glass of wine and a bar of dark chocolate with caramel and black sea salt. I bought it for myself the day Beau left for Japan. I said to myself, “Now, this is for when you absolutely need it THE MOST. You’ll know when it’s time.”
So it’s just me and my Neapolitan trio this week. Mostly I have been amazed at how many fun and sort of devil-may-care cracker-jack moments there have been…but when it’s bad it’s bad. I’m not one who does well under stress. I seize up in panic and either accidentally break something, explode into the crazies, or just cry and cry.
This morning in a rush to get Finn to school and all three children ready and out the door I accidentally locked Harry and the keys in the car. I’m still not certain about how it happened. I plead insanity. It’s funny, because we had just been lackadaisically brushing away leaves in the backyard to find bluebell buds sprouting. It felt like an early Easter, the boys finding each new green shoot giddily as if they’d found candy. A little wren was twittering away in the bushes at us, perhaps we’d stumbled upon her nesting spot. I felt deep pleasure and peace and beauty. I thought, I think I’m getting the hang of this! I’m doing really well! I’m so calm and everyone is so happy!
Oh! The time! Hurry, into the car! No you can’t have a yogurt now, put on your coat, where’s Oliver’s shoes? Finn, no! Not under your sweater! It’s for rain. That’s why its a raincoat. Harry! Who gave you yogurt? Oliver your shoes! No, other foot. Let me do it. LET ME…ok. NO…Finn put your coat on the right way or…Harry….no! No! NO! Ok….into the car. Come here, Harry first….
Then the car alarm came on. and on and on and on…
I panicked. I lost all comprehension of what needed to be done. I called the police. I called the locksmith. They both said I needed to call the other.
and on and on and on…
I sat on the porch and bawled. I was louder than the car alarm, I think. I was so scared and alone and didn’t know what to do. Oliver and Finn had their sweet suggestions about Fire Men, and breaking windows, and then looks of terror, and then…”call daddy.”
Beau was far far away in Japan. It was the middle of the night there.
and on and on and on…
I called him anyway.
And he knew what to do.
We climbed into the car frazzled and shaking. I asked Finn if he was ok and he burst into tears. “I don’t like it when you cry like that!” I called the school and told them Finn wouldn’t be in class. We went to Portage Bay Cafe with Sarah and Fiona and ate our tired, lonely sorrows…in oatmeal cobbler french toast. Then we went to the zoo.
The zoo culminated in a woman walking past me, as I tried to corral my wild things, saying, “Are ALL of them yours??!”
Yes, lady, I bring my own animals to the zoo.
Then it was home to clean up the endless mess, three loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, two spilled drinks, time for bed, one chapter…ok two, get back in bed, no she doesn’t really turn into a blueberry, snuggles, kiss…ok one more….
I’m reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the boys. Tonight we got to The Chocolate Room. Oh the descriptions! Here is one of just the smells when they first enter the factory: “the smell of roasting coffee and burnt sugar and melting chocolate and mint and violets and crushed hazelnuts and apple blossom and caramel and lemon peel….” I was sitting there reading about the waterfall of chocolate, and realizing with edging glee that I had prepared myself for my haggard state, my moment of greatest need –and salivation– I had my own golden ticket to a state of euphoria away from my Slugworth day.