Monday, August 15, 2011

Late Night Moments of Joy

I'm trying to balance the end of my job and the start of my something else, all at the same time, and what it mostly feels like is stress. Hustle and bustle, hurry and worry, if I don't cross this random finish line by that random deadline, all might be lost.

We built a railing around our deck. My parents came, and my dad and husband did the job in a morning. Then they fenced in the final side of our yard. The homeowner's insurance said we needed the deck railed, and my son's strong desire to escape all arbitrary limits imposed upon him necessitated the fence with double locks on the gate, so we would have done both projects regardless, but now we've been forced to do them sooner.

We got 300 square feet of patio pavers for free; had to rent a truck and take 3 trips to get them to our driveway. The boy and I stacked them high on pallets while the baby girl slept, and the husband returned the truck rental and moved on to addressing our electrical problems.

The next-door-neighbor (thank you God!) is an electrician, and he helped us safely dig the live wires out of the ground. They used to run to the garage, before the garage started leaning like the tower of Pisa and had to be demolished. Then we got some light fixtures installed on our kitchen ceiling so the wires no longer hang like tree roots out of a hole above the stove. He knew how to make old wires work with electrical tape; an old Greek who knows everything about everyone, and lends a hand like he's family.

Next will be a sidewalk with those free patio pavers, leading from the deck out to the driveway, so we won't have to tramp through the melting snow and muddy pathway we've used for the past three years. We'll be giving my dad another call for that project, and I'll be back on baby duty, keeping the kids out of harm's way so the men can work, and stewing in my worry about all the things I can't get done so my husband can be freed to do the heavy lifting I'm less capable of.

But then last night he came in sweaty and exhausted, and I tossed the children in his general direction and said: The toys are all set up on the shelves, and this room is clean and complete. Let them play. I'll be mopping the floors and making the rest of the house look presentable.

I took a break for bedtime, but then stayed up late into the night organizing board books by size, and setting out art supplies for ease of use. All of sudden, staring at my pile of sensory stories--those books babies can touch and grab before they can talk or read--my heart caught in my throat.

I went in to find my husband taking a well-deserved break on the couch with the new nutmeg-colored cover, purchased to replace the old one with holes in the arms. I leaned down, and choking back tears, I told him: All I've had time to think about so far are logistics. Getting things in place, lined up, the stress of this whole process. I haven't had a minute to think beyond that. But Oh God! I am going to LOVE this! I am going to LOVE this!

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