So Alice had turned from a cat into a dog and “Grandmommy” had had enough of the whole situation and announced “I’m taking the dog out” so it was me and my little terrier. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next. Yes, I was saved by the beautiful sound of my husband’s voice “I’m home!”
“Daddy!” Alice yelled stumbling down the stairs past me.
“Take them! Gotta go!” He threw several grocery bags at me and disappeared into the bathroom. Not exactly the welcome I was expecting but at least he was home. I figured he either really “had to go” or he “had to hide” (yes I have banged on the door more than once and yelled I know you’re hiding in there watching youtube!) either way eventually he’d be swinging Alice around in no time and getting her ready for bed so I could finish my quiche in peace. Maybe even peek at Facebook.
“I want Daddy!” Alice sulkily muttered, sitting in the hallway outside the bathroom.
“Daddy will be out in a minute, do you want to watch Dora on Grandma’s laptop?”
“Dora!” Alice yelled with the same joy she had yelled Daddy moments ago and minutes later she was happily learning Spanish from a cartoon character while I grated parmesan cheese into a bowl of eggs from the neighbor. They were actually really gorgeous, it was my first time seeing fresh chicken eggs from someone’s backyard. Blue, pink, red, green; it was like making quiche out of easter eggs.
While I was marveling over my bowl of eggs and cheese my husband came up the stairs and into the kitchen. I ran over to him and hugged him around the neck. “I’m so glad I’m not the only parent here anymore.” I told him happily.
“I don’t feel good.” uh-oh. “I made a bad choice.” This isn’t good. “There was this Mexican food at the food court that looked ok…I need to lie down.” Oh crap. Literally.
“Ok that sucks. We’re totally running late tonight and I was hoping you could get Alice going on her bedtime routine. She already ate dinner, mom and I are having this quiche if I ever finish it.”
“Yeah ok, just give me a few minutes.”
“Daddy I want to play. Let’s play” Alice ran over and wrapped herself around My husband’s knees.
“Daddy doesn’t feel good and it’s time to get ready for bed.”Nick (my husband) sounded weak with fatigue and perhaps…fear? (My daughter is one to be feared when angered. This is not an exaggeration.)
“NO!!!” Alice ran back to Dora feeling slighted.
“Go lay down I’ll bring her down after I get this in the oven.” He turned and went down the stairs and while I finished my quiche and Alice finished night school, Grandma made it home. Quiche in the oven I brought a reluctant but listening (she always listens better when Grandma is there) child downstairs to Daddy who was able to perk up enough to work his bedtime routine magic on her which is not always the case as my next blog post will reveal. (A teaser is her insisting on brushing her teeth with her mittens on.)
While I ate quiche with my mom I thought about how lucky I was to not have to do all of this alone. It was not that long ago that we lived in Anchorage and Nick worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week and Grandma was an hour away. Although Nick still commutes our lives are a million times less stressful. After cleaning up and wishing each other goodnight I went downstairs to check on my little ballerina cat, saying a silent prayer for my sons in Oregon as I always do. Nick was laying on the pull-out couch, Alice’s door shut. I opened it and walked over to her just for that high of baby breathing sweaty head wonderfulness. I kissed her and shut the door.
Since Nick and I are still in the process of moving into my mom’s house here in the valley we haven’t set up our bedroom yet and are technically living in two houses. So for now our bedroom is the downstairs living room which I actually don’t mind because of the remote control fireplace that left to my own devices I would use to melt the wall. It just feels so good! However you have to pay for that sort of thing so I restrain myself. For the most part.
“So are we watching Age Gap Love?” I asked Nick who was sleepily watching poker on his phone.
“Yep if that’s what you want.” He reached over and grabbed the tv remote.
“It’s just so oddly intriguing. Some of them are sweet and some of them are creepy and gross.”
“I agree.” He turns on the show and we watch weird tv by the light of the fire in the Alaskan winter darkness and say goodnight to another long day.
What once was Me
Once upon a time I was beautiful
My skin was dark and shining and my hands were strong
I had eyes the color of ashes and wind
My legs curved and my back was like iron
Once upon a time I was immense
Each rebellious curl on my head was a voice and my mane was a symphony
My breath filled my chest and spilled out before me tasting of honey and grass
I smelled of wine
and wicked earth
Once upon a time I was precious
Each beat of my heart was a warm glittering thunder flashing and fading in the darkness
My life-force was an electric
My spirit was a mountain
My memories were swift and gentle birds