Posted by: Angela | July 25, 2011

The Best Day Ever

For the last year, my life has been a hysteria of trying to do alone everything my husband and I used to accomplish together. Oh, not to mention throwing in some new things including bringing home a new baby and another exchange student (which brings us to 3 full-time students and two full time children), laying sod on my gravel heap of a back yard, ripping out stumps, planting rose bushes in places that require an ice pick (literally) to dig with, and siding my house. Not to mention working on the inside of my house with it’s half done spring cleaning and arduous amounts of upkeep from the havoc my little and big boys cause.

At this point you may be wondering, but no, my husband did not die. He did not divorce me. He just brought into our lives the eighteen month mistress of a masters degree- which I practically begged him to do. We knew it would be hard; we hoped it would be worth it. We just had no real idea. His work load has increased so much that he does nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe school. He has unintentionally alienated all of his friends, stopped participating in anything he enjoys, and has zilch time for his family. He is haggared and lonely. I am too.

Usually Saturdays are the worst for Tom. Saturday is his catch up/catch all day. It’s the only day that he has to make up for all the days in the week that went too fast. Out the window goes family time, play time, relaxation. It’s a harried day.

So, with this as the norm in our home, I invited my husband to the Pioneer Day parade. I didn’t think he’d accept, but he said he could make it work. We went and celebrated our heritage to the tune of picking up the saltwater taffy being flung from the parade floats, heckling participants that we happened to know, and by protecting our 3 year old from getting spritzed by the float riders who brandished super-soakers.

On the way home Tom asked me if I wanted to help him do his homework. My expectations of a blissfully lazy afternoon began to fade until he explained that he needed to observe a cultural event and write a paper on it. The only thing “cultural” he could find in our small-ish town was a Senior Olympics.All events were participated in by people who were at least 50 years old.  Events included horseshoes, dancing, croquet, and other more regular Olypmic sports.

We decided to go to a baseball game.  When we got there we knew we found the place immediately. Every player had white hair or no hair. The pitcher sported a Rollie Fingers mustache and instead of pinch hitters, the offence had a line of pinch runners for those who had hip replacements and couldn’t run anymore.

We watched the game and routed for the team called the Second Winds. They were pretty good and it was fun to see these very grown men enjoy themselves. They catcalled and goaded the other team. Everybody laughed easily at mistakes caused by old age.

My three year old met a friend and enjoyed trundling up and down the stands while the baby played on my lap and Tom cuddled me from the bench behind. It felt like old times. The weather was beautiful. Just warm enough with a little breeze and some shade to take the edge off. It was one of the funnest baseball games I’d ever attended and our team won 21 to 15.

We came home around one o’clock and Tom dozed off while the kids played their imaginative games and I roused myself to make some lunch.  Tom woke up in time to read to me from the book we’ve been trying to get time to get through since May. It was lovely to hear his calming voice evoke the images and scenes from the plot. I was carried away in someone else’s life, which in the end, made my own seem somehow more conquerable.

In the afternoon we laughed and joked together for a few minutes with our students before they went off to see friends and left us alone for the day.  Our kids delighted us with their little tricks and we wrestled and tickled and giggled. I prepared a barbecue. We ate with the satisfaction of a lazy summer day.

That evening, after we put our kids to bed, Tom and I cuddled on the couch and sipped root beer floats. “This was such a nice day.” Tom whispered in my ear. I couldn’t help but agree. In that moment, school, siding, rose bushes, and work faded to a distant memory. A memory enough to supply the gratitude I needed to really appreciate this simplicity, but not so much as to give me my usual sense of anxiety.In that moment I felt so happy. I felt grateful and hopeful for better things to come at the end of the school road. I also felt at peace with the way things are right now.

Even though this has been a stressful, perhaps somewhat bleak year, this has also been a time that has added depth to the lovely life I have been given. This day- compacted in so many other endless days-  seemed to me, as I snuggled into the crook of my husband’s arm, to truly be the best day ever.”

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