Week in My Life 2017: Monday

Fall is such a busy season in the best possible way. Somehow it’s Week in My Life week, and I almost missed it. This is one of the most demanding blogging activities I undertake, chronicling our lives on the blog every day for a week, but it’s also really worthwhile. I always enjoy looking back over our past years to see what our daily lives were like.

So here we go!

The bad news: Morning comes much too soon, and it’s time to get up.

The good news: I can hear our newly minted 10-year-old making his own breakfast in the kitchen. He’s just microwaving pancakes, but this still seems amazing. By the time I head to the kitchen, he’s watching Scooby Doo. I must have given permission for that in a weak moment while I was half-asleep. His brother is still sleeping, but he’ll be up when he realizes the TV is on.

I pack lunches, fill water bottles, and make even more breakfast, realizing we are eating the last can of chicken noodle soup in the house. This is unprecedented for a household that doesn’t let a day pass without chicken noodle soup, and I make a mental note to get to the store.

I check my email and see that the gratitude garland Daniel made for Sunday School was a huge hit in every way. He had a cold and wasn’t feeling up to going to Sunday School, but we sent his garland along anyway, and it won the prize for being the biggest one. He’s delighted, and it seems like a great way to start our school week.

Then suddenly someone mentions that it’s Book Fair week, and I remember it’s also the week I am supposed to stop by the classrooms for open houses. Today is the day for fourth grade and tomorrow will be second grade. Somehow I have to fit that in—and of course I can’t wait to go. I just need a few more hours to my day. Don’t we all?

It’s a busy day at the office, but I slip away for an early lunch break to see what fourth grade is like. I stop outside the classroom door to sign a bookmark for Leo. I hesitate at the signature. In my mind I’m “Mama,” but these days he calls me “Mom.” So I write, “Mom.” Then I walk into the classroom, where the children are reading a story and discussing the theme. I realize I have no idea what the theme of this story is. What is a theme? I’m in way over my head. But I stay and learn what I can and try to analyze the classroom dynamics, which fascinate me.

Leo hadn’t acted excited to see me when I walked in, but before I leave, he gives me a smile and a quick hug in the hallway—when no one is watching, of course. Then I’m back to my normal workday until late afternoon when our sitter texts us.

The carbon monoxide detector is beeping, and our sitter isn’t sure what to do. Leo has been analyzing the situation and asks her to tell me that it’s beeping “every 45 seconds.” What does that mean? I don’t know.

“Take the children outside, and I’ll be right there,” I tell her. And I’m off, hurrying home. I can’t reach my husband on the phone, so I call my father.

He hems and haws for a minute. Then he says, “Call the fire department. That’s why they’re there.”

So I do. And they come. Daniel is raking when they arrive. One fire fighter walks up the driveway and starts asking our sitter questions as if she is the children’s mother. He thinks that because she and our sons are all Asian—though she’s Filipino American and they’re Chinese American. She and I realize it at the same moment and start laughing. She’s 22, and the idea of being the mother of a 10-year-old is hilarious. The fire fighter figures out why we’re laughing and joins us.

The detector just needs new batteries, so we say thank you and wave goodbye to the fire fighters, and I head back to the office to finish my workday.

We have leftover meatloaf for dinner. Then Daniel and I fill a pie plate with pumpkin cookies and deliver it to friends who made us a chicken pot pie a few weeks ago. We have a rollicking time visiting them, and Daniel comes home wanting a Nintendo Switch and more play time with our friends’ daughter. But he’ll have to wait for another day because Monday is ending and it’s time for bed.

Read Tuesday’s post here, Wednesday’s hereThursday’s here, Friday’s hereSaturday’s here, and Sunday’s here.

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.