There's a spot in the corner of the couch beneath the lamp where I sit every morning. I curl my legs under me or sit criss cross applesauce, drink my coffee and stare out the windows. From where I sit, I can see the birch tree outside the dining room window and the dogwood outside the window in the front room. In the spring, when the dogwood blooms, it's as if I'm suspended inside the tree's blossoms. All but a few straggler leaves remain on the tree now which has opened a clear view of the giant oaks across the way.
The sun rises over there, toward the river, and the room slowly fills with light as the day wakes.
I go to bed early in part so I can get up early and enjoy this view, this silence, these still moments before bleary-eyed kids sit for cereal at the table.
The first of Kent's alarms rang at 6:38 a.m. today. It's my signal to get up and make the kids' lunches. I try to finish with the kitchen before he starts fumbling around to make everyone breakfast.
I drive carpool every afternoon, but we trade morning drop off from week to week with our neighbor. She picked up the kids at 7:15 and I got to eat breakfast and try to talk to Kent between Tobias' incessant ramblings about this thing or the other.
At 8:30, I dropped Tobias at preschool then drove to the elementary school for a 90-minute shift as a library volunteer. The school requires every family to contribute 50 volunteer hours, so I help in the library and cafeteria every week, chaperone field trips, and, in December, I'll start helping with the first-graders' reading program.
I've signed up in previous years to work in the library but never got picked. This year, for whatever reason, I did. It's a fun job that appeals to my sense of quiet and order. I shelve books, check them in and out. It reminds me of my bookstore days.
Ho-hum errands after:
The car wash
The variety store for dish soap
Coffee and laundry and a trip to Old Navy for winter coats that actually fit Desmond and Josephine.
Our oven broke a week ago and I haven't set up a repair appointment because I haven't been home long enough to meet a repairman. I finally made a call today. They're coming to the house Saturday (when I'll be out). I also called our next door neighbor to see if I could cook two meatloaves in her oven for dinner. Then I left to pick up Tobias from his school. Every afternoon, he and I queue up on the streets of Old Town outside the school 45 minutes before dismissal. It sounds insane. It IS insane, but the lines are so long and the process complicated and unless I want the kids to sit on the blacktop for 30 minutes or more waiting, we have to wait in the car. I read my phone or listen to NPR. He talks and talks and talks and talks.
Here he is once we finally get the others, happy to be joined by people who don't try to shush him.
Fast forward to my favorite part of Wednesday, the thing I look forward to all week, in fact: a new "Rocket" yoga class. It started at our studio about a month ago but it's taught by a teacher who co-owns another studio in the area. He's an inversion junkie but the class, while loaded with opportunities to go upside down, starts with the most delicious 25 minutes of breathwork. He puts on a loud drumbeat soundtrack and we inhale four beats, exhale four beats and move through five repetitions of Sun Salutations A and B, some of which we do with our eyes closed. The union of movement and breath has always been my favorite part of any class. This one just has bonus handstand and funky arm balances afterward to boot. We end each class with a four-minute headstand, including a minute spent in a pike position, that's quite fierce.
The teacher got tied up in traffic and was late, so class felt rushed, not quite as intense. Still, there was time to close my eyes and breathe. And play.