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Redeeming the day

I took a late afternoon shower yesterday, mostly to wipe the toddler poo off my shin but also because if I didn’t ensconce myself in a small box, alone, I was going to scream.

The scream started welling up in my little toes early in the morning. Most of my kids had the day off from school and I thought it would be nice to go somewhere. Do something. Get out and away from screens and Mario and his brother. When I suggested we head to the zoo for a day of browsing through the animals and enjoying a picnic lunch, my older boys howled it would be boring. We bickered over plans. Everyone dressed slowly. Shoes were missing.

Then, I remembered my 6th-graders shoes. He had been on a class trip to California all last week. He wore his shoes in a tide pool (a rule) but instead of letting them air dry, he put them in a plastic Target bag, along with his balled-up socks. There they stayed until he came home, unpacked, and put them with the rest of the household shoes, still bagged. I found them before we were going out. They smelled like dead fish, salt, Southern California, mold, plastic, mildew, and boy foot sweat. If they hadn’t been in excellent structural shape, I would have thrown them out.

I ended up soaking them in a bucket of rubbing alcohol and water, as recommended by my husband who did a web search at work. I put the bucket in the backyard, which no doubt smelled like a moonshine distillery to anyone walking by on the greenbelt. That family with all those kids? THEY MAKE ALCOHOL IN THEIR BACKYARD. They probably need it.

(He used a hair dryer on his shoes last night. They were stiff and smell like a gin and tonic. Good luck at school today, kid.)

The day wore on. It wore me like a diaper, it did.

Our oldest daughter performed in “Romeo and Juliet” last night at her high school. Her Honors English class updated the play into modern teenagerese and set it in Verona High. Juliet was a popular cheerleader. Romeo was a nerd. My lovely daughter was Fr. Laurence, who was updated to be Counselor Laura. I sat in the dark auditorium and watched her play the worst high school counselor in the history of the universe. She gave Juliet poison, failed to email Romeo the warning of what he’d find in her parents’ basement. She got Paris’ blood on her new shoes and loudly complained.

The dumb day spun away in that dark room. Two of my older boys tagged along and loudly cheered for their sister. My shin was clean. At home, I later learned, the kids who stayed behind made sack lunches for the kids who attended the play. On the way home, I bought The Worst High School Counselor Ever a giant cheeseburger from Sonic and stole some of her tater tots. Home, I cuddled the little dude who got poo on my shin. I watched an 11-year-old sit on a bathroom floor and aim my hair dryer at his shoes like a gun. I kissed my kindergarten daughter nighty-night. I learned a day can be redeemed in the last moments before my eyes closed.

(I wrote this as part of The Extraordinary Ordinary’s Just Write, a Tuesday institution.)

13 comments to Redeeming the day

  • Hate those days, but it is so great that the simple things make it all better. How fitting that my captcha is “cuddle”. Hope you have a great day today!!

  • Yes. This. Again and again.

    (That adaptation of Shakespeare sounds hysterical.)

    • Gretchen von Lifenut

      Kelly, it was so well done and ~truly~ funny. I’m glad I went. I was skeptical, but wanted to support Aidan.

  • Mom

    How fitting the anti-spam word is “BLESS”. I love that word and despite your trying day it ended well. Thank the Lord.

  • Amy

    What a day you had! I’m glad to hear that it ended on a positive note. I hope your day so far has been a happy one!

  • I love it when days manage to turn themselves around.

  • Heth

    “That family with all those kids? THEY MAKE ALCOHOL IN THEIR BACKYARD. They probably need it.” Can I get your recipe?

    Wonderful to read.

  • Shayne

    What a lovely reminder that even when “those days” come around, moments of contentment and satisfaction can still be found!

    That sentiment reminds me of the London 2012 Procter & Gamble ad someone sent me about motherhood being the hardest and best job around. Have you seen it? I sobbed. At a commercial.

  • amyptucson

    I laughed SO hard when I got to “They were stiff and smell like a gin and tonic. Good luck at school today, kid”!

  • amy

    Nice. I never thought of Juliet as cool and Romeo as a nerd though, maybe I need to reread the play.

    • Gretchen von Lifenut

      Well, the assignment for the classes was to update/change the play. Set it in a new time, place. Last night’s rendition, done by a different class (Aidan ushered at their show) was rival diners across the street from each other. Their sword fights were with spatulas and frying pans.

      Aidan’s class had the jocks with baseball bats and the nerds with light sabers. So, it wasn’t so much Juliet being a cheerleader and Romeo being a nerd. They could have switched those easily. It was more about their rivalry. Other classes did gangsters vs. cops and one class set their interpretation in the 1920s.

  • Much laughing about the play. Worst High School Counselor Ever-ha! Love that you still found restoration in the end.

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