Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Little Zen Goes a Long Way

I dragged myself into the house at 5:30 pm tonight, dropping armloads of bags, a coffee mug, and my thermos as I stepped out of my clogs. It was a long, tiring day that came fast on the heels of a longer, more tiring night.

But the boys were quietly reading on the couch with their babysitter, and the house was in order. Our sitter had run and unloaded the dishwasher, put laundry through and left it folded on our bed, cleared the kitchen counter, and even scrubbed the kitchen sink. It was white again. She's unbelievable.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Home. Even though Matt wouldn't be home tonight until late, I was relaxed. I dimmed the lights and put on my ultimate relaxation music, George Winston's Autumn CD. (I must've had that album loop 50 times non-stop while I was in labor with Lyle; Matt could give us the exact figure, because I'm sure it matches perfectly the number of times he wanted to put a gun to his head.) I spoke quietly to the boys and started to make dinner. I was so calm that I didn't even jump out a window when I got the voice mail from Lyle's school informing me that both teachers are sick and he doesn't have nursery school tomorrow.

I put dinner on the table and called the kids in. I lit the candles, signaling to the boys that they could begin to eat (thanks, Cara, for that wonderful ritual). We ate and quietly chatted about our days, piano music still playing in the background. Lyle actually started rubbing his eyes while he ate, so relaxing was this meal. He needed that.

After dinner we read stories, practiced the week's spelling words, and got ready for bed. Both boys clambered into their bunks without argument and drifted off to sleep with a silence that was as eerie as it was uncharacteristic, while I lay fighting sleep on the floor next to them.

The juxtaposition of this evening with the race I ran this morning - getting my sleep-deprived self out of the house and losing Pokemon battles all the way to school - was sobering.

I need more of this. We need more of this. More quiet.

Matt will be going away on Saturday for a three-day weekend trip to Seattle to visit his oldest childhood friend. This friend and his wife are expecting their second child next month, and Matt knows how their life is about to change, that this is a good time to see an old friend. I'm grateful to have such a thoughtful husband and am glad he will get to have this weekend away.

The boys and I will have a quiet day on Saturday. Tonight I have canceled every single thing we were supposed to do. Maybe we'll go out somewhere adventurous, like one of the museums. Maybe we'll take a walk to the beach. Or perhaps we'll just stay home in our pajamas and read books and watch Mary Poppins and CARS all day. Who knows? All I know is that the choice will be ours.

Because we need more quiet.


kristen said...

As you know, I'm all about the zen. I love quiet. I live for quiet. Quiet is how every day should end...

My son's teacher does yoga stretches with the kids every morning, and she's started telling my son "to take a deep yoga breath" when he gets upset. Yesterday, I was frustrated with him and wouldn't you know? He turned to me and said, "Take a deep yoga breath, mommy. You'll feel better." Indeed.

Niksmom said...

We all need some tranquility in each day; did you take mine? ;-)

Cynthia said...

I have just come home from rushing around here, there and what seemed like everywhere; boys in tow. Your post simply relaxed me, gave me tranquility to make it through the day.

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

I love quiet, too! It is one of the reasons I sometimes get up super early. Kristen, the teacher does yoga stretches? How awesome is that?!