Week in My Life 2017: Wednesday

I’m blogging every day this week to share a glimpse into our daily lives.

You can read Monday’s post hereTuesday’s hereThursday’s here, Friday’s hereSaturday’s here, and Sunday’s here.

I’m up before the sons, which makes me think I have a jump on the day. I pack lunch for Leo and think, not for the first time, that one of the best things about changing schools is that Daniel buys lunch almost every day.

Friday is parent-teacher conference day, but somehow Leo’s teacher’s schedule for Friday filled before I could pick a time, so I have an early conference with her today. I feed the boys breakfast, and make sure their backpacks are packed before I go.

I think I have just enough time, but I discover frost on the windshield. I scrape it off and head to school, where I stop in the hallway to see the mask Leo made that I missed when I visited on Monday.

At my meeting with Leo’s fourth grade teacher, we cover my questions quickly. The transition to a new school has gone fairly well, but nothing is ever completely smooth, and I want to make sure Leo is confident and happy. The teacher talks to me about their expectations for student writing, and I look at the rubric she used on a recent assignment. I’m always astonished by what our children are learning.

“I’m a professional writer, and I’m not sure how I would do on this,” I say, and we laugh. Then I think how strange it is that I just described myself as a professional writer. It seems not quite accurate for what I do.

As I’m leaving the school, I stop to write notes on leaves for a construction paper tree the school has created on the wall. Then I’m off to work, well ahead of schedule, while John takes the boys…or, I think I am, but as I’m passing our house, I remember that we only own one snow scraper. So I stop and scrape off his car, just as the boys are running out and climbing into the car.

It’s an unexpectedly wonderful moment of hellos and goodbyes, as we are all together for a brief instant before we all go our separate ways.

At work, it’s a busy day. I have meetings, and I manage to get a quick lunch with a colleague. On campus I see signs for a program my Campus Ministry colleagues are running today, and I wish I could stop to talk. But I’m grateful for the busyness of a full day and for making some progress on some of my projects.

By the time I head home, John is already there with our boys, and they are playing in the basement. Daniel is setting up an elaborate scene with soldiers, and John tells me he picked up a new 7-foot artificial Christmas tree for us. We have only had a small tree for the past few years, so this will be exciting for Christmas.

John also reminds me that a contractor is stopping by at 6:30 to give us an estimate on some work in the basement. I have forgotten, but that’s fine. I have 45 minutes to make dinner and feed people. I love a challenge, and I pull it off. The contractor arrives just as we have finished eating our spaghetti with meat sauce, and I take a call for work.

After dinner, we have some homework to do, and I learn about bolides. Then we all relax until bedtime. John reads to the boys and tucks them in. I go in to kiss them goodnight, and I ask whether each of them had said what he was thankful for. One is thankful for math, and the other for a stuffed cow. I say, “I’m thankful for…” and start listing family members.

“No, Mom,” Leo tells me. “You have to pick one thing.”

“Fine,” I say. “I’m thankful for my family.”

He approves. And minutes later, they are off to sleep.

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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.