Every self-respecting woman between the ages of 25 and 60 can sing the lines from “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. Nun turned governess turned mother/wife, Julie Andrews, outlines the things that make her happy, and if someone who successfully cares for a gaggle of children while running from the Nazis can do that, I certainly can, too.
So in the spirit of Maria, here is a list of my favorite days:
Surprise Snow Day: I’m talking about the day you wake up to snow on the ground, turn on the TV and scan the list of schools (listed in alphabetical order) on the ticker to find YES! No school! The last time this happened to me personally was my sophomore year of college. My roommate and I were studying for our Spanish final, and BAM! Snow, ice, no final. This is the #1 reason I need to move away from the South (right behind not wanting my children to think it’s okay to hate black people). How are my children supposed to experience this in a place where it has only snowed once in the last ten years? The best way to spend this day is with a Norman Rockwellesque fire in the fireplace, lots of blankets and hot cocoa, watching a Godfather or Anne of Green Gables marathon (depending on your audience, of course).
Both Children Napping at the Same Time Day: This day only comes around once in a blue moon, but it’s important to always be prepared to take advantage of this glorious, glorious day. Preparation includes having a good book, a pair of fuzzy socks, and enough Sleepytime tea to last a few chapters. Absolutely, never, ever, ever spend this day cleaning.
Constant Rain Day: This day sometimes coincides with Both Children Napping at the Same Time Day, so the same rules apply, but this day also includes taking turns napping with the other adults in the house and eating soup for dinner.
Green Tree Frog Day: The song of the Green Tree Frog marks the beginning of summer in the South for me (one of the reasons I LIKE living here). Green Tree Frogs sound like a mix between a duck and the teacher from Charlie Brown, and when coming from the woods across from our house, I find the noise to be soothing. (This day was marred last year when a certain brave Green Tree Frog made his way to our front porch and positioned himself on the front door. I almost had to kill a tree frog.)
Unexpected Down Day: This is the day when the AF decides all non-essential personnel get a day off for no reason, leaving us with a long weekend, which makes me thankful for family time and grateful for all the essential personnel who don’t get the day off here and abroad.
New Book Day: This is probably the day I celebrate the most, and I shouldn’t have to explain why this is one of my favorites.
Mowing Day: The sound of a mower starting up in my front yard every 10-14 days, meaning my lawn guy is here taking care of something I don’t want to do, brings me great delight. You have to be careful when celebrating this day to not get too excited, or your husband’s ego can be bruised when he thinks you value the lawn guy over him.
Song That Reminds Me of Someone I Love(d) Comes on the Radio Day: Between NPR and my ipod, my radio hardly ever gets a chance to play in the car, but every now and then, I’ll turn it on and browse. I have a debatably unhealthy connection to music in that every moment of my life is connected to song. “Blackbird” makes me think of my Daddy walking me down the aisle. “Godspeed” reminds me of those tough first months with Will when Scott was gone all the time. “New Soul” reminds me of Ben’s birth. So when I’m searching through stations and Bush’s “Glycerine” comes on, I’m immediately taken back to my middle school boyfriend who almost bought me a lab puppy for Valentine’s Day (thankfully the puppies were still too young to bring home, and we broke up two days later). When I hear anything by No Doubt, I think of summer love. When I hear “Tangerine” by Led Zeppelin, I remember very fondly my high school boyfriend. None of these songs are actually all that fantastic in the grand scheme, but they take me back to a really fantastic place.
Finding Out One of My Best Friends Is Pregnant Day: I am so thankful for both of my children and the work it took to get them into the world, but I am even more thankful that I don’t have to go through labor ever again. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am finished being pregnant, and it’s a really great feeling. That said, I am just a teensy bit sad that I won’t ever have another baby to hold--like a tiny one with brand new fingers and toes and pink skin and wispy hair. One that smells like love. So, when the phone rings with a call from someone I don’t usually hear from by phone, my heart beats rapidly and then bursts when I hear, “I’m pregnant!” This means that in a few short months, I’ll get to hold and kiss a baby’s sweet face. And then hand her back to Mommy to do all the diaper-changing and midnight-feeding. Best of both worlds.
Empty Nightstand Day: I am a firm believer that the state of my house reflects the state of my mind. There was a time when my house was always completely clean, the junk confined to maybe one pile and one drawer. I always knew I’d reached the end of a cleaning cycle when the nightstand next to my bed held only a lamp, a bottle of water, and a stack of two or three books that I was currently reading. (It’s significant to add that the house I lived in then was much smaller with fewer people and a lot less stuff.)
After Will was born, the house was still almost always clean (like vacuumed, dusted, wiped down clean), but there were generally multiple piles, and several large projects. Since Ben was born, it’s like the entire house is one big pile. There are several reasons for this. Here’s a little flow chart:
More people/stuff ==> Busier schedule ==> Less time for everything ==> prioritizing activities.
All of that mixed with the fact that I’ve become less uptight about life in general means that the house is in some state of disarray most of the time. There will be another time in the future, I’m certain, when keeping the house in order moves back up on the priority list, and I’ll have a clean nightstand again. But right now, I would rather spend time playing Batman with my boys, reading and writing when I’m alone, and watching movies in bed at night with my husband. As for my state of mind, I’ll get that sorted out later, too.