Friday, January 18, 2013

Blue skies, finally

Today was the first continuously sunny day in more than a week. After being scoured by so much rain, sleet, and more rain, the sky was a brilliant, crisp blue. I decided to be a bad graduate student and skip school (and traffic). (In my defense, I've put in a lot of work this week, gone in early and stayed late, and submitted abstracts and manuscript drafts, so I decided playing hooky was okay.) On my day off, I...

...went to an Xtend Barre class at the decadently late hour of 9 a.m.

...decided to enjoy the sun by going to the park and jogging. I'm not sure where I mustered up the energy, but I managed to run four miles with negative splits, with my slowest mile being 9:28 and my fastest being 9:05. Those are good times for me, especially considering that I never felt like I was going all out.

Evidence of a gorgeous day.

...went on a coffee/hummus date with my husband at a new cafe in town:

The coffee was Panama something-or-other,
and it was amazing.

...borrowed some books from the library, including the new biography of David Foster Wallace.

...did some laundry.

...did not clean my house.

Re: that last one. It's funny how memories that once seemed insignificant - like, why have I remembered it all these years? What was the purpose in hanging onto it? - sometimes take on greater meaning. One such memory is of going to my first best friend's house to play. The place was always a complete disaster area: toys everywhere, sticky countertops, pet fur covering the couches, dust all over the floor. Even as a six-year-old, I noticed the disarray. But it was always so much fun. We let our imaginations run wild building stuff, coloring, moving toys from one room to another, going from inside to outside to inside to outside. Unlike my other friends' moms, she wasn't one to chase after us with broom, dustpan, vacuum cleaner, and annoyed tone. Instead, she was usually reading or writing or cooking or doing something for herself. She seemed to have her own life. I remember feeling really free and relaxed there, knowing that as long as we didn't fight or say/do anything inappropriate, no-one was going to yell at us.

Even with just one kid, it's hard to keep our place clean, and I try far less to do so than I used to. There are legos under pretty much every piece of furniture and Kindergarten artwork on almost every wall. Our ottoman is falling apart, and our couch has a three-inch gash in the cushion. My son's room looks - to me - like a mess, though he assures me that it is actually a house with its own kitchen, bedroom, and art center.

It's not a total pit. It's not dirty. It's just messy and lived-in. Well loved, well used. Nothing like a Pottery Barn ad. I could clean for 18 hours a day and my son could still undo it in a matter of minutes. 

Sometimes I wish it were cleaner (I'm type A: messes of any kind make me at least a little anxious) but then I remember my friends' house and I feel better. That feeling I had when I was there is the feeling I want him to have at home. Freedom to just be a kid and not worry about how an emptied toy box might affect the adult's psyche.

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