Exhaling: Domestic life.


June ranks right up there with December as one of the busiest months for us, because the kids come, school ends, we go to Redding and this year both Jeff and I took 2 trips to California.

While the calendar doesn’t say so, June, for us is over. And that is alright by me.

All the things that have been going neglected are getting done. Calls and letters to friends, closets tackled, yardwork, cathartic cleaning of things long waiting the attention to detail, and leisurely time spent giving back rubs to A, reading books, cooking up some fun new recipes, listening to music (why do we do that less when we are super busy).

Gone is the daily grind of 6:30 to 4:00>dinner>cleanup>child bedtime ritual>TV and correcting papers or folding laundry>sleep. The day starts to feel like a train on an unstoppable schedule. Every day. Some people like this, thrive in this. For me, it is like a velvet prison. I cannot complain because my job is fine, my marriage is strong and my kid is my sunshine–but gone are the days of say, going for coffee during the week, going for an impromptu hike in the gorge, a bike ride to somewhere…anywhere.

The train schedule is blissfully on break for a good while. I can linger on the porch and play Sudoku with lemonade or a coffee on Thursday morning. The kid and I can go swimming whenever, or go to the library (which is a really big deal for her). I can get a garage sale going and sell all that stuff that has accumulated. I can write letters to friends who long need it. Make cookies. I am indulging.

But even with that I am on a list of to do’s, because I am not used to not being productive. Eventually I will get used to it, and I will get soft and lazy a bit. Around then, the kid will be born, the rhythm of life will revolve around maternal tasks. It seemed to me that last time life was there, it was like a time out of time. A very unique time, peaceful, sort of slow in a nice way.

And one of the nice things is that my husband, who made breakfast and lunch for me every day this past school year (!), now I get to return the favor.

I have read A Thousand Splendid Suns and have started on Three Cups of Tea and have on order The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a time by Tom Sine and Shane Claiborne.

A Thousand Splendid Suns was very hard to read as a pregnant mom of a young child. The violence against women it contained and against their children made me squirm with empathetic discomfort and put the book down more than once. Other than that, I was relieved the ending redeemed the book. There is all this talk about whether it was as good as Kite Runner. I would say it was just as enjoyable to read, but I think Kite Runner had a bit more of a deeper philosophical undercurrent, about redemption and survival that this book doesn’t have (at least I didn’t catch it as I was reading it, but as I bring it up now, it is possible that someone could argue that it does). It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, though.

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