In honor of my birthday, Mr. Handsome took off from work to take care of the house and kids and meals and do little projects that were high on my priority list, like installing the white board in the back hallway, hoisting boxes of clothes up to the attic, and filing the teeter-tottery stacks of papers piled on top of the filing cabinet that had been giving me the same skin-crawly feel you get when someone screeches their fingernails down a blackboard. Because he was home and because it was my birthday, the pace of life slowed down. There was another adult around who was focusing on helping out to make the house run smoothly, and I didn’t try to get anything done—I wasn’t allowed to. I declared a holiday from studies, and I didn’t have to cook or do jobs.
After a non-nourishing but very rousing meal of Captain Crunch cereal, Yo-Yo Boy ordered me to get my coffee and sit down on the couch, and he then proceeded to rub my feet. Becca Boo soon joined him.
I took all the kids into town and dropped them off at my Girlfriend Shannon’s house and then on to the library where I browsed through the stacks for an hour with no interruptions, making off with an ENORMOUS stack of books, videos, and magazines.
And when we returned home, Mr. Handsome had lunch ready: bologna and cheese sandwiches, assembled and stacked on a plate in the middle of the table and covered with a cloth.
After rest time Mr. Handsome took the two olders into town to do some shopping. Sweetsie listened to tapes and The Baby Nickel, after waking from his nap, puttsed around and cuddled with me. I read magazines, planned menus, worked on a spreadsheet for the garden, and baked a couple loaves of sourdough. At one point I pulled up a chair by the hot oven (it was a chilly, rainy day) to warm my feet while reading. Pure bliss.
My Balding Bro and his family joined us, coffee-chocolate ice cream cake in hand, for the after-dinner, take-out pizza, activities. The kids were falling over themselves to give me their packages, crowding so close that I could hardly see what I was doing. Miss Becca Boo gave me a necklace with a gold cross, studded with “diamonds”, to show that I love Jesus, she explained. (She had wanted to get me a statue of Mary, like my mother-in-law has, but she couldn’t find one.) Yo-Yo Boy gave me a silver necklace with an assortment of heart-shaped baubles. From The Baby Nickel I received a bag of peanut butter cups, and from Sweetsie a bar of Dove chocolate. Other lovely gifts: an immersion blender, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, a coupon for an outing to Books-A-Million from my sister-in-law, and a two-year subscription to Home Education Magazine.
All in all, it’s a very good start to my thirty-forth year of life.