What I used to call the Bewitching hour is now some of my most productive writing time. Hello! That hour when the kids were little and I would call my husband’s office, asking if he had left yet. Pouting loudly and making it very clear that he had abandoned me for an extra half hour with these little terrors that had secretly vowed to suck every ounce of energy from my bones. I started liking wine when they were toddlers. The corner store was conveniently on the walk home from the bus stop to our house in Turkey. If he was going to be late, he knew what to do. Survival depended on it.
They are not so little anymore. When 5:00 comes around, we’ve debriefed the day, had the snack, dinner is on the stove and I’ve shut down work mode. If they’re doing homework and the house is quiet, it’s all bonus. And it has become some of my treasured space for thought and contemplation.
Sometimes I sit on the deck. It’s still warm enough at this hour and when the breeze picks up, I feel settled. Look at me breathing in fresh air and sitting on our deck! My soul needs this.
The last two days I have written. Chronicled the time I’ve spent intentionally ushering my daughter into becoming a woman. The space I’ve carved out of my norm- fighting human trafficking in my backyard- is more than refreshing. It has been necessary. I honestly have no idea how mothers who work full-time survive! I have been working far more than ever before since last year and it has taken its toll on my soul. How do you be kind and attentive with a thousand things on your mind?
I am learning.
Part of the process is naming what I don’t do. I cook, but I don’t sweep. I pick up clutter, but I don’t really dust. I can keep house plants alive, but don’t ask me to produce more than a handful of potatoes in the garden. I’ll go grocery shopping, but you make your own lunch. And breakfast. And do your own laundry. And after 8:30 pm? I’m done. I don’t brush hair. I don’t have meaningful, last-minute conversations while I’m tucking you in. I don’t remind you about homework or wash that shirt you were dying to wear. In fact, I don’t do much of anything after 8:30pm. Just go to bed already!
I want your friends here. I do. But not really when they’re waiting for an answer at the bike rack. I need some lead time. I want to host people, really. But I’m not spontaneous. There’s too much on the lists. Dream lists. Hobby lists. Intentional down time lists. Honey do lists. I’m sorry I can’t respond with all my heart when you spontaneously drop by. But this is me. I’m trying to live intentionally and right now that doesn’t include your time invading mine. Maybe in the future it will.
So there I am, reflecting on the deck in a silent home with ADOLESCENTS in this awesome and challenging in its own right new stage of life where I get to make choices and draw lines and really live well, according to me and my family.
We’re on the journey. Where are you? What wisdom can you impart from your stage of life?