i remember saying a few years ago, back when i had a 40 hour lab job and was trying to figure out how to extract myself from an oppressive “daycare” situation, that “i want to wake up on monday morning and be mama.” i don’t even remember who i said it to- maybe my journal, or in a phone call to my mom or bff. in true law of attraction style, i get closer to that articulated goal all the time. financial stability is a prerequisite of that goal, and law of attraction has been coming into play there as well. last week i had a short lull in diaper orders, which was actually a blessing because it was such a busy week in the aftermath of our big evaluation. i said out loud to rich, “i’ll be ready for another diaper order on friday.” saturday morning i checked my email and there it was.
it isn’t a seamless transition from working girl with a career in the marine science field to nanny with diaper business, especially when the working girl had health benefits and the nanny is paying student loans that bought an education she is no longer using. i can’t go back and un-articulate the goals of my youth of becoming a marine biologist, and probably wouldn’t undo it if i could, though i believe students should stop being handed the ball and chain of debt in exchange for a degree. but then of course if health care and education were both free, what would there be left to work towards in this country? i still feel my choices were the right ones for me at the time, and it makes it easier to be at peace about loans outliving the usefulness of what they financed.
we are working on our flexibility and frustration tolerance still, to be sure, but through my heart shaped lens it’s easy to see progess. on saturday night, at 7:53 when he finished dinner and i said to quinn, “ok, go wash up and while you’re in there you can do your bathroom chores” (our phrase for brush teeth and go potty before bed). he suddenly stormed, “no! i am not going to do my bathroom chores!” then after the briefest of pauses, but still stormy and still said in a near-yell, “but i will go and wash up!” i said it was okay with me if he wanted to do something else in between washing up and chores- for seven minutes, and thanked him for being able to stay with me through that frustrating moment and make things work for us both.
on sunday i watched quinn frolicking with his friends as apple blossoms fell like snow on their sun-kissed heads, and the horse tethered below the apple tree “mowing the lawn” grazed placidly. my friends’ chickens’ glossy feathers winked their iridescent colors at me in the dappled light under the boughs of evergreens as i shoveled manure into the trunk of my car, in between other duties of pushing kids on the swingset and stirring the chicken and noodles (the chicken in the pot having been one of the extra roosters from their brood that i had the opportunity to help harvest). my two close mama friends, the chicken owners, are sisters and call me their “brother from another mother” and the house we spend many family dinners at is their mom’s. i find quite often that my thoughts echo quinn’s words, the ones he said to me when i was driving him home up beaver creek, our forest commute, after he got back last week from a desert camping trip with his dad: “i like living here. because it’s green.”
maybe the sunlit warmth of spring is what makes it all seem so right. taking my guys out to panini, quinn wastes no time in pointing out his chosen danish (law of attraction works for him, too- there is never any guarantee panini will have the pastry you desire on any given day, but of course the universe heard quinn’s request for another apricot cream cheese danish that day) and then heading straight over to the tall stools by the west-facing window, sun streaming in, one block up from the ocean. there are three stools in a row and he chooses the middle one, climbs up and sits patiently to hold our spot and wait for the slice of cheese pizza he will eat with his whole face.
another sun-bleached day dawned on homeschool group last week, which found quinn conquering a climbing wall on the playground, helping me turn water of varying temperatures and salinities different colors and watching the behavior of water in one mason jar inverted over another. seeing his mind grasp onto the concept of clockwise and counterclockwise currents as a quick experiment with a bowl full of water and a sprinkle of cornmeal, and a girl blowing through a straw, cemented the concept in his mind. watching him spend the next 30 minutes drawing the concept in painstakingly intricate detail, with arrows for the wind direction and currents, one speck of cornmeal at a time, on his worksheet, delaying his lunch so he could finish this work he took such pride in. his pride only rivaled by my own pride in him. and like a cork that moves only up and down when a wave goes by, but stays in place, the school pushers have surged on through and we are still here. he was not rushed off to another class, our lives are still structured in such a way that he can linger over a project he is passionate about, and it is so clear that he is passionate about learning.
and today is monday. today i woke up, and i was mama. it’s a good day.