Wednesday, June 29, 2011

and then we all went to the vintage auto meet.

or: sleep deprivation for dummies;
or: have i mentioned that we have six kids?
or: his hand on my back still makes me go all tingly.


i woke up this morning.
we woke up this morning, after being up most of the night.
the kids who were supposed to be in at 12 from across the street
came in
at 1:15.
and then phones were taken.
and then,
after sleeping for a full hour or so,
tim was awake and pulling on pants.
a full three of the girls were not in their beds.
not in the basement.
not even on the computer for an easy yell.


tim went peering up at neighbors' houses.

when we had just about had enough of doing nothing,
they appeared at the back door.


so by the time i woke up,
i was exhausted.

i came downstairs to a kitchen that had been the arena for
late-night pancake making,
not late-night pancake cleaning-up.

the floor was even messier than usual.
the kids were wrecked.
there was a tent set up in our back yard.
there were seven newly washed and folded white towels in the bathroom
which by noon were down to two; two were on the floor and
the rest were gone.

i had brought home a gallon of orange juice at 5 pm the night before,
and yet,
despite it being a strict rule in our house: no juice except at breakfast;
before breakfast a full half of the gallon was gone.

the pillows on the livingroom couch were on the floor
and there were flip flops everywhere.

my toothbrush, which i had not yet used at 11 am, was mysteriously wet when i finally got around to and got my turn at using the bathroom.

which had not a single washcloth left.


so i'm sort of losing it.
and the worst part is, just like being framed for a crime you did not commit,
i'm the pariah here.


so yes. i'm complaining. i'm whining. i'm going grey and i'm also looking a little pale these days.

teens need sleep. i believe this.
so do forty-four year olds.

i got to work though, and cleaned the whole house. felt so good and clean.
shipped the two littlest ones(who were not grounded), off on the sea of nana and pop-pop.
at long last after finally showering and brushing with that mysteriously wet toothbrush,
i sat in the chair in the shady quiet spot in the front yard, and read. and tried to sleep.
and watched my big girl cross the park barefooted, to walk the neighbors' dog.
and cross back over, and smile and wave at me, stopping to talk on her way back in.

and then i closed my eyes for a bit.


and then we all went to the vintage auto meet.


more soon.
but first,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

it occurs to me that living with all of these girls may be cosmic payback for growing up with all of those boys.


another night at the river.
with girls.

we often arrive with more than our own,
but come home with fewer than we brought.
or vice versa.

more soon.
things are getting a little out of hand in this house, so i'm going to get to work.


ps:: cheesey sailboat photo courtesy of tim.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

what i do when i'm alone; and then when they are coming home i make cookies, and wait eagerly.


tim just called and they decided to come back early. late tonight.
i've mixed feelings, i suppose. i was really enjoying being alone.
but i also can't wait to get my hands on them.

more soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

friday happiness in the nick of time::


it's been a full day:
the last day of school,
for the last of us.

camping tomorrow means chaotic packing,
and so much food in the fridge,
and in bags out on the porch.

and yet tonight,
dinner for girls and girls and girls.
not all ours.

we are that house.
you know the one.

if you knew me,
you would know that
being that house
does not come easy.

or rather,
it comes easy enough,
but i follow them around
picking up pieces of muffin and cookie,
of dregs of salad
and dirty socks.
of gum wrappers
and wasted paper.

i have confiscated three phones in the last twenty four hours.
making an example of them.

i drink a lot of wine.

i listen to a lot of music.

i laugh a lot.

i don't cry easily, but when i do, the whole house stops and they come and hug me.

i'm a lucky girl.


today is the first day of our summer.
if you knew what dread this day brought for years and years; girls, home, always.
if you could feel the joy i feel now; girls, home, always.

i am so grateful my life-my head-has taken this turn.

welcome summer.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

a totally different sort of post, so if you're looking for poetry, come back tomorrow.


ok. i'm putting my cheese in the wind here, because i know these subjects are ripe for judgey-ness.

yes, that's a word.

i'm not going to stick up for ourselves pre-emptively about notvnotivonowinoonandonandon.
it's just how we live.

but we've got girls, and our girls have cell phones.
and they use them.
a lot.

they text. their friends.
a lot.

there are so many ways i could go with this post right now,
sticking on topic:

i'm concerned about two things specifically:

the amount of texting that happens when they are in the room with other people.
the amount of time their electronic devices spend directly on their bodies. (ie: the pockets of their little shorts and skinny jeans, right there cuddled up next to their reproductive organs.
there. i said it.)


i put a basket at the door.
and the idea is that you, (meaning them. you, if you come to visit, are welcome to keep your phone where ever you please...although, if you're into that whole "setting a good example thing"...)



the phones need to be in the basket or up on their desks. not on their body when they're in the house. not out when they're hanging out with others around the house. and not, of course...when they're at dinner or breakfast or talking to us or studying and on and on.



it's a battle. i heard tim yell at callie (oops, did i say her name?!) yesterday for the first time in months.
they are NOT going gentle into that good basket.
and not quietly, either. (hence the yelling back.)


what do you think?
and don't just give me "yay!" (not that i don't need and appreciate that.)
but tell me how you deal with this-if you do...

there's a lot more to this, but let's just start here...?

thanks for listening.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

if i were making a soundtrack to summer,


this would be the first song.


Monday, June 20, 2011


we've been spending a lot of our nights at the river. a certain zeitgeist has developed this year, which has all eight of us wanting to be there, as much as possible, and at the same time.

the big kids down at the end of the point with a bonfire, the little kids down at the water or running around in the dry sand up by the picnic tables, the grown-ups assembling in spontaneous combinations as the sun goes down, drinking and talking and handing off brownies and watermelon. eventually packing up in the dark and making our separate ways home, calling over shoulders goodbye until next time.

i did not grow up like this.
i'm so glad they are.

more soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

tim woke early and went surfing.


tim woke early and went surfing.
i stayed in bed, exactly where i'd been when he kissed me goodbye.
(should i come back up when i leave? )

i am half in our room here,
and half in the rooms of houses i'd lived in before this one,
sleepily encountering friends i'll never see again.

they appear in my dreams
over and over,
and when i wake,
it takes a moment or two
to sort out what is here and what is gone.

anna is there sleeping sideways at the foot of our bed,
looking a mixture of the baby i remember
and someone i don't quite recognize anymore.

cats waiting right on top of me.

i hear the truck start,
and the box fan in our window
brings the gasoline smell right up from the driveway
and into our room.

anna stirs.
it sounds as though tim is taking off in a boat,
across some stagnant morning lake, to fish.

he sets off for the ocean
and i fall asleep again,
dreaming of my parents' house,
and of the house in connecticut,
and of a friend i haven't thought of in years
who shares the name of someone i ran into at school yesterday.

when i wake again, hours later,
anna is sleeping next to me.
and i'm in our room, in our house,
and all of the places and people who floated through my dreams
are gone.

tim is gone, too.
but he is already on his way home.

more soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the post i probably shouldn't write: not for any dramatic reason, just because i should go to sleep, instead.


we both woke pretty much independently yet simultaneously at three a.m.

even the cats were asleep, and thus i can't blame them.
anna was still at the foot of our bed;
time to be sleeping, certainly.

but we were awake, and worrying.

i'm certain that only humans can be awake at three a.m. and be worrying.

we held hands and most definitely could have spent the time better,
but instead we started talking about it all.

i said: usually i have in my head that everything is really ok...
and he said: why would you ever think that?

as popeye would say- no.
it may be my father...
as my father would say:
"'dem's fightin' words."

i do think everything is really ok.

so my worry turned into a pep talk.
girls. health. freedom. food. garden. thought. home. summer. choice. friends.

he conceded on the last one.

and garden.
i probably had him at garden.

and no denying that girls should be written in caps.

those girls of ours. that thought alone saves the day, really.

so yes.
five a.m. he got up and went downstairs to work.
six a.m. i got up and made us tea.

and then a whole, full day of so much i can't process everything just yet.

but the pieces are all in their place. girls. food. home. worry. etc...


and oh man, do i mean it.
i'm sleeping through the worry tonight, no doubt about it.

more soon.
thanks for reading.