Sunday, April 10, 2011

When Nothing Means Everything (Babble)

I love days like this.  There aren’t enough of them for me right now and I’m really excited.  I’m still in bed after sleeping in and you know what lies before me?  A whole day of nothing.  Nothing!  Like a big ball of bliss to kick around, there are no plans, no demands, just a whole lot of nothing.  It’s like the best present ever.  Like being handed a very special bouquet.
So much for us has to be tightly scheduled.  My kids can never seem to understand why my husband and I insist on getting things done at particular times, but we keep pointing to the clock and saying, “We only have an hour before we have to clear the table for dinner so you need to finish your homework now so we can get out of here in time for (insert violin or choir or swim lessons or a concert here).”  There is a lot to squeeze into an average day and we spend a lot of time badgering the kids into using the bathroom and putting on coats or hanging coats up or just getting a move on.

In terms of my job, Saturdays wipe me out.  I’m at the violin store alone and it’s our busiest day.  I’ve had as many as a dozen people at once in my little shop for hours at a time, and it’s exhausting keeping everything straight.  There are people exchanging rental violins and looking at instruments and bringing in bows to be rehaired.  Some Saturdays I don’t get to sit down at my bench to do repair work until well into the afternoon when there is finally a lull in the foot traffic.  By the time I get home I’m usually pretty dazed, and yesterday was no exception.

But today?  There is nothing on my plate.  (Except, possibly, waffles to eat that I hear Ian making downstairs.)  No school events, no book club, no concerts, no errands that must be done today, no Army related anything, no play dates, no travel, no visitors, no appointments.

I asked Quinn a couple of days ago when I was looking at the calendar and saw a big hole of nothing sitting on today what he wanted to do with it.  I told him I could take him to the zoo or the children’s museum or anywhere he liked.  He cuddled closer on my lap and said, “Nowhere.”  That surprised me a little, so I said, “Really, where is the one place you most want to go and I will take you there on Sunday” and he said, “Home.  I love being home.”  Can’t argue with that.  Home is my favorite place in the world, too.

And the bonus is that today is supposed to be warm.  Like, very warm.  Like, out of the 40’s and into the 70’s, just for today, and then it goes back to feeling like spring in Milwaukee again tomorrow.  People who live where it’s warm all the time don’t appreciate it in the same way.  Here, the moment the sun comes out and you can tolerate the air outside without a jacket, everyone goes outside.  People take it in and enjoy it for all it’s worth.  I lived in Mexico one summer in college, and every day was gorgeous, and it stopped registering after awhile.  No one ever said, “It’s beautiful out!  We must do something with it!” because it would be beautiful the next day too, and no one was interested.   When it’s beautiful here it almost seems like a crime not to get out and enjoy it, and no one takes it for granted.

I think I’m going to spend the morning working in our yard.  There are a lot of plants peeking up and too many dead leaves and sticks blocking their way.  We had an impressive hail storm last week that knocked a million tiny sticks all over our yard that need to be raked as well.  Being outside and neatening things up sounds great to me.  Normally there isn’t time.  There is talk of going out for a sundae at Leon’s Frozen Custard at some point.  We might grill something for dinner, which when we say that to the kids means they hear the word s’mores.  We might walk to Target for something.  We might not.

My life goes back into full tilt crazy tomorrow with getting the kids off to school, exercising, work, rushing home for dinner and then a rehearsal until 9:00, but today?  Ha!  If I do anything today it’s because I want to.  There’s not another hole like that on my calendar for a long, long, time.

Here’s wishing all of you nothing!  (And I mean that in the best possible way!)

UPDATE:  I’m sore from all the nothing I did today.  Got the whole yard raked (seven big bags worth), and that was really satisfying.  Of the kids, only Aden took real advantage of the weather by biking, making kites, pushing a neighbor’s baby in a stroller around the block, and all manner of general play.  Mona spent a few minutes on her scooter and the swing, but then retreated inside to make things out of paper and play on the computer.  Quinn, who has worn nothing but short sleeves and flip flops all winter, was decked out in a long sleeved turtleneck, heavy pants and socks.  He collected pine cones while I raked and then went back inside to draw.  They did all come outside to enjoy the latest bubble machine I picked up on a quick trip to Target today (I have a thing for bubble makers and this one was on sale!) and we grilled burgers and ate on the deck.  The day ended with s’mores and much needed baths.  Life is damn good sometimes.

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