Week in My Life: Wednesday

This week I’m trying to blog every day as part of the Week in My Life series.



Getting out of bed this morning, I notice how quiet it is. The boys are still asleep. As I’m starting to heat their breakfast soup in the kitchen, Daniel wanders in, his Lightning McQueen pajama pants dragging on the floor, his eyes barely open. When he sees that I am about to start packing lunches, he springs into action.
The only thing easier than packing lunches with your almost-4-year-old’s help is packing lunches without his help, but he’s so cute digging through the cabinets to find the chips he wants to take today. So I stand back and figure it will get done eventually.
Somehow it does.
Lunch pictures are drawn (Baba does them today), bags are packed, though we forget Leo’s water bottle. We have a long discussion over whether the sweatpants Leo is wearing for gym meet the guidelines. I decide they don’t, but the ones that we bought that do comply are too big. So illegal pants it will have to be, and thank goodness it’s kindergarten when the students are not held accountable and the parents are.
On the way to the car the boys stop to admire the small skeleton I bought to hang on our mailbox. I couldn’t get a good picture of it since it was so much fun to swing around, but I think we will get our $3.99 worth out of it. The Cat in the Hat seems to like it, too.
Then we head to the car.
Since we moved into our house not even a month ago, the back of the minivan is full of stuff that still needs to find a home. One of those things is an enormous stuffed Sprite can. Today it’s all the rage. Both boys want to play with it, and sharing it is hard. Eventually they position it exactly between their seats.
We drop Leo off at school and I shiver watching him climb the steps without the sweatshirt that I force him to carry in his backpack. Then Daniel and I are off to preschool, where he wants to take the Sprite can in to show his teachers.
Sometimes you fight battles.
Sometimes you just negotiate different terms.
“You can take it in to show them, but Mama is bringing it right back to the car. It’s too big for school.” He agrees and we head into school.
The teachers’ smiles grow even warmer and wider when they hear the Sprite can isn’t staying.
No one will ever say Daniel isn’t determined.
I wave goodbye to Daniel and head to work. At the office we have a lot going on with talk about Gen. Colin Powell’s visit. I am writing a story about his lecture while also hearing back from students for the second story I want to write.
Because Daniel doesn’t seem to like anything I pack in his lunches—probably because he has a cold—I run to the store at lunchtime and buy hard-boiled eggs and string cheese and cold, cooked chicken nuggets. It’s hard to imagine that he’ll eat them cold, but it’s worth a shot.
The day flies, as it always does, and just before 5, John calls and offers to pick up dinner. I have leftovers I could reheat, but they will still be good the next night. And the boys adore Chinese food. I say yes and head out to pick up Daniel, who is helping his teacher move a cart into a closet when I arrive. Together we go to get Leo.
We’re saying goodbye to Leo’s aftercare teachers when one of them says, “Oh, don’t forget his box.”
His box?
Could it be?
It is! His box of wrapping paper from the fundraiser is sitting there waiting for us.
I’m stunned and relieved—and I say so, while thanking this very kind, competent person who is both capable of taking excellent care of my son, and also savvy enough to know that the parents of the children in her program would be unable to get to the school between 2:30 and 3:30 on a weekday with one day’s notice.
I’m not sure why that couldn’t have been communicated in that same message (“If your child attends aftercare, your wrapping paper will come home with him”). But it doesn’t matter. The saga has come to a close, and the wrapping paper is home.
Sitting at our kitchen table we enjoy the won ton soup, cooked sushi, lo mein, and other dishes John brought home.
We open our fortunes and Daniel’s (at the bottom) is the best. Leo’s is just above his, and John gets the “intellectual” one.
Leo finishes his kindergarten homework, which is all about syllables (which I think we covered in fourth or fifth grade), and draws an extra snow walker (from Star Wars), writes “snow walker,” and writes “3” for the number of syllables. I hope he gets the “bonus” points his teacher offers. Then he flips through magazines to find three C pictures to cut out.
Tomorrow night he will write the words.
It’s Wednesday night, so the boys are exhausted. They seem more tired every day as the week goes on.
We read books separately tonight, something we do occasionally to give each of them special one-on-one time. While Leo and I are reading Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving, he points out a lift-the-flap that tore and shows me how he glued it on his own. I’m impressed. Then we come to the last page where the cats list things they are thankful for.
“What are you thankful for?” I ask Leo, who’s snuggled under his Star Wars Angry Birds comforter.
“That God is alive,” he says. Then he rolls over to go to sleep.
It’s a good answer. And it makes it hard to worry about wrapping paper.
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Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.