7:20 a.m. The alarm goes off. I hit the snooze.
7:29 Hit the snooze again.
7:33 Wake up with a start. Fine young gent, the youngest, is smiling at me about a half inch from my face. "Hi Mama," he whispers. I smile back and kiss him. "Morning, pumpkin." I turn over.
7:38 Alarm goes off again. Hit the snooze. Loving husband gets out of bed. "You're not moving," he says. "Uuuuhhhnnnnnffff," I say.
8:00-ish Come downstairs showered and dressed. Feed the dog and ask the kids to set the table for breakfast, thoughtfully prepared by loving husband. While loving husband makes breakfast, I start the laundry, make the gents' beds, set out their clothes, and put away laundry. "Mom, can we have a pajama day? Pleeeeease?" ask the gents. "Sure," I say.
9:00 a.m. Adrianne, a student in an autism program at the university arrives for a family observation. "I'm just here to hang out with you and your family and see how things go," she says. I'm hoping I can get everyone out the door without any yelling-- mine or theirs.
The boys are so excited that there's someone new in the house that they run around like little crazy folk, hooting and making funny faces. "It's not always like this," I say. "No. Actually, it's like this a lot of the time."
As I'm greeting Adrianne, the phone rings. Lovely lady, 11, answers. "If it's neighbor friend, tell her to come over so that you can practice your duet," I instruct lovely lady. "You can't come over yet. I'm not dressed," lovely lady tells her friend. Then she hangs up. "Mooo-ooom! She can't come over when I'm in my pajamas!" As though I'd asked her to run down the street in her underwear or something. For heaven's sakes, they've had sleepovers together, what's the difference?
I call neighbor friend back and tell her to come on over, then help lovely lady dress. It's supposed to be at least 80 degrees, and she's chosen a camisole, velvet shrug, and lined track pants. With much huffing and rolling of eyes and "But Moo-ooom!" she allows herself to be persuaded to change into shorts, but the velvet shrug stays.
9:15 Neighbor friend shows up. The girls head to the basement to practice their duet before lovely lady's choir practice. Even though friend lives just down the street, they've both been so busy that this is the only time they have to sit down and practice before the afternoon recital.
9:27 Time to go, and three minutes early, too! Lovely lady walks neighbor friend home, then returns. I list instructions and plans for the day and directions to puppy class for loving husband, quiz my girls-- Have everything you need for choir practice and beyond? Snack? Water bottle? Music?-- and grab lovely lady's recital dress and shoes.
9:28 Oh crud. Kindergarten gent is supposed to come to choir rehearsal too, and he's still in his pajamas because it's a pajama day. Loving husband gets him dressed in record time, and he beats me out to the car.
10:00 a.m. Arrive right on time for the all-choir rehearsal. Get the ladies and gent delivered to their respective choirs. Watch fine young gent rehearse a song about God's critters in a choir. The little singers are all adorable. Kindergarten gent keeps his hands to himself and doesn't jump up and down while he's singing. Yay! Adrianne has followed us to the church, and she observes lovely lady during her practice.
10:30 Drive kindergarten gent home and return to the church.
While I wait, I chat with other choir parents, several of whom remark on how glad they'll be when recital/concert/graduation/playoff season is over.
11:20 a.m. Beckon lovely lady, 14, down from the risers and drive her across town for her state testing. Lovely lady found out yesterday that she would be taking the test. "Is she nervous?" a friend asked me yesterday. "Well," I started, then gasped. "I don't think she knows." In my defense, lovely lady was gone when I made the testing arrangements, and we'd almost decided to skip the testing day anyway in favor of choir practice. Fortunately, the lovely woman doing the testing is also in a choir, so she understood the importance of the last practice before a concert. She offered to let me bring lovely lady late and allow her finish the tests she'd missed once the other students had gone.
Lovely lady eats her lunch in the car and comments that maybe it's best that the test was a surprise because she hasn't had time to get nervous.
12:15 p.m. Return to the church with eleven-year-old lovely lady's recital dress and shoes. She changes in the church bathroom and we leave for the recital. I realize I forgot to pack her a lunch. A quick stop at the grocery store for an energy bar, a yogurt smoothie, and flowers for her piano teacher takes care of that problem.
1:00 p.m. Recital. It is lovely. Lovely lady's solo piece and both duets go wonderfully. Adrianne has come to observe the recital, and she gave lovely lady a bouquet of flowers. Lovely lady wants to eat two of each kind of cookie and refuses to let me take her picture. "But Mom, I like even numbers," she protests when I shake my head at the cookie idea. "Mom, I don't want my picture taken!" she groans when I take out the camera. I sigh and try to understand about the picture thing.
2:15 p.m. Lovely lady and I return home, barely beating loving husband and Poppy home. He took Poppy to puppy class so that I wouldn't miss the recital. "Hello!" says my mother-in-law as we sail in the door. She's with the gents so that we can get everything else done.
Poppy comes in and doesn't pee on the floor when she sees my mother-in-law, which is progress.
"Mom? Where are my clothes?" lovely lady shouts down the stairs.
"In the car. Just a minute and I'll bring them to you," I holler back. We've all been invited to swim next door, so I look for the gents' suits and towels and find the sunscreen.
2:30 "Mom? Mom? Where are my clothes?" shouts lovely lady. Oops. "Just put your suit on," I holler back. I end up having to go upstairs anyway to help her find her swimsuit.
Poppy sees my mother-in-law come down the stairs after putting youngest gent to bed, and she gets so excited that she pees on the floor.
3:15 p.m. All swimmers are ready, but the neighbors aren't home yet. The gents run around shrieking like little boy banshees. I leave.
3:30 Arrive at the Farmer's Market. I've been gone or busy every weekend for the last month, and I haven't planted tomatoes. As I wait impatiently for the girl in front of me to figure out the pay-to-park box, my phone rings. Loving husband: "Lovely lady just called to say she's almost done with her test." Good thing I haven't paid to park yet, eh? I'm only five minutes away, and lovely lady finishes her last problem as I walk in the door.
3:50 Back to the Farmer's Market with lovely lady, 14, just before closing time. We have to search for strawberries because everyone's out. The cherry tomatoes I want are all out. "I brought three-and-a-half flats of Sungolds today," the stand owner says. "I'll have more on Tuesday." I buy three tomato plants (Early Girl and Siletz, both favorites from last year, and Red Grape) and promise I'll be back on Tuesday. It'll be a good morning field trip for the kids, a trip to the Farmer's Market. On the way out lovely lady and I stop at the lemonade stand because we're thirsty.
4:15 p.m. Home. Whew. The neighbors had returned home later than they'd expected, so we'd just missed the beginning of the swim party by ten minutes. I send lovely lady next door to swim. "Don't you want to swim?" asks my mother-in-law. "No, I just want to sit in a chair," I reply. She leaves me with napping youngest gent. Aaaaaah. Peace and quiet. I read the paper and start writing this post.
5:30 p.m. Ka-thump, ba-lump, ga-bump up the garage steps come the ladies and gents, home from the swim.Time for dinner, and loving husband and I are both beat. With school winding down and extra choir practices, this isn't the first full day we've had this week. Looks like a take-out night.
7ish After dinner we head out to the back yard for sprinkler fun and root beer floats. It's grand outside-- pleasantly warm, clear sky, relaxed kids. I chat with the neighbor over the fence, the gents jump in the sprinkler, loving husband and I talk about fencing the garden, Poppy carries around a ball bigger than her head hoping someone will chase her.
After 8 It's bedtime but we're still outside. Am I a terrible mother if I can't remember the last time the gents had a bath? Oh well, they've been playing in the sprinkler every day and they don't look dirty or smell bad. That should count for something. I pop them in the shower, then into clean pajamas and into bed. Lovely lady is storming and huffing about something. It's been a long day for her, and she's melting a little. "Fine!" she yells when I send her to her room to cool off. "I just won't come down for the whole rest of the night!!" Rats. I was hoping she'd come down and grump and growl some more. I don't think I've been yelled at enough today.
9:00 p.m. The gents are in bed, one reading and one zonked out. The lovely ladies are chatting and hanging out together. I still have to finish this post, clip the dog's nails, fold the laundry, check in with both lovely ladies and soothe the younger one, who's upstairs at this very moment complaining loudly to her sister about losing her privileges thanks to Mom, and maybe even spend some time with loving husband.
Only three more days of choir: Tomorrow's concert and two year-end parties. Two more weeks of piano lessons for both sixth-grade lady and kindergarten gent. Two more weeks of gymnastics. Then.....
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Mom's taxi service can take a break.
Except for swim lessons. And summer camp. And going to the park, and vacation, and the pool, and.......wait, when will it be fall again so that I can get a break from all this running around?
Some day I'll look back at this time and realize that these are some of the richest, most wonderful years of my life. Today, I just dream of taking a nap.