This morning I heard Copacabana on the way home from yoga, and it set the tone for my whole day. I have been doing the merengue and the cha-cha all day, humming about yellow feathers in my hair and a dress cut down to there. At least I know all the words to Copacabana, which makes it a little less crazy, unlike the time I had Fancy by Bobby Gentry stuck in my head. I only really knew the words Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me down so I basically had that on repeat for a few days. I would much rather sing about the hottest spot north of Havana.
My friend and I were walking our dogs and talking about the vast amount of food our sons consume each week. We joked that food preparation, in a house with pre-teen and teenage boys, is the equivalent of a part-time job. Since I have the irritating personality trait of needing to empirically quantify any such claim, I actually started noting down how much time I actually do spend grocery shopping, planning and preparing meals, baking, doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. The number of hours I spend doing those things per week was actually astonishing and I wish I hadn’t had the urge to do the math.
For one thing, I realize that this job is just going to get bigger and bigger for several years, and then, when the boys leave home, it is going to be gone, completely GONE, and I am going to be left in my empty kitchen, singing Landslide softly to myself while wondering what to do with all these cookies.
That, right there, is the reason I cannot wish away time, even if every single Tuesday I think to myself What? It’s only Tuesday? I don’t want to wish my life away. It’s already the end of January and life often feels like it’s a cartoon of pages flying off the calendar.
Anyway, with all the awful, terrifying, and disheartening things happening in the world, I am choosing to focus on my own backyard. There are lots of opportunities to make the world a better place, and as I said to my neighbour the other day, efforts that seem small in the grand scheme of things are actually not small at all to the people being helped. It’s a good reminder.
I am also focusing a bit on my literal backyard, because this happened:
We have a huge backyard and when the kids were small they would spend hours out there, playing with Barkley and shooting water guns and running around. They are past that stage now, and I convinced my husband that a trampoline would be the cure for all that ails us.
It arrived in pieces on Friday and my husband and I spent four hours on Saturday putting it together. FOUR HOURS. It was well worth it though, since it has been fairly mild for the past couple of weeks. We’ve all enjoyed it so much already and I’m looking forward to summer, when our house can become the neighbourhood hangout. I’m sure my kitchen time will increase substantially with a group of teen boys in my backyard, but it will be well worth it.