Monthly Archives: March 2017

The drama of laundry

The drama of laundry

I am line-drying for the first time this season.

No wait, that’s not true, I put Isaac’s sheets out on the line one sunny, windy, barely-above freezing day in February, because his tween-age boy funk was just so strong I felt it needed all of mother’s nature’s angry winter wind to beat it out.  It was a bright, blue-skied, day and my hands are still cold from shaking out and putting the wet sheets on that line.  They didn’t dry all the way, but mostly, and they did smell amazing, and yes, we do think they froze a little out there and we had to toss them in the dryer a bit to put back on his bed.

But today, I am line-drying for real.  A whole load, and just because I’d rather use the line than the dryer.  It is in the low 50s and partly cloudy and much more humid than that February Day and I don’t know.  I’m apprehensive.  The ground below is so muddy, it’s a swampy mud pit, and I’m grateful I load our line from the second story deck and didn’t have to walk in that gross lawn.  But what if something falls? I worry, even though I have never lost an item of clothing off that line.

And they say it’s not going to rain today, but it’s been such a wet, sloggy, muddy, damp, end of March that I can’t quite believe it.  The existence of clouds in that sky makes me nervous.

Still, I was out on that deck putting my clothes out at 6:45am this morning, listening to the birds and watching the sunrise play off of Rainbow Lake in the distance, and that was really good.  Even if my clothes don’t dry and fall in the mud, it felt really good to be cautiously optimistic about the weather.

Now to get in the habit of putting a load in the washer at night, again…

So tired, tired of waiting, tired of…zzz

So tired, tired of waiting, tired of…zzz

Great googly moggly, I’m exhausted.  Here’s the conundrum: I have to get up as early as 5am and no later than 7am every day of the week.  It’s just the stage of life I’m in: between getting kids to school and me to various works and church commitments, that’s the wake up window.

And then kids are going to sleep later than they used to – bedtime is now 8:30pm, with them truly down and settled around 8:45pm.

I’m a gal who needs 7-8 hours a night to feel like I can function.  Sleep.  It’s the best.

Counting back, that means I need to be asleep from 9pm to 11pm on various nights.  Because I’m an insomniac, having different bedtimes on different nights is hard for me – makes me less likely to get sleep.  Responsible Erika says we should always be asleep by 9pm, then…which means starting my bedtime ritual around 8:30pm…which is the same time as my 6 year old son.

Indignant Erika doesn’t like that one bit.  So, I stay up.  I have one quiet hour and a half with Andrew, then we go to bed.  I’m asleep around 11:30pm.

Those of you who are counting on your fingers now realize this means I am never getting my 7-8 hours, and on some nights I am only getting 5.5.

I’m.  SO.  TIRED.

Yes, I can shift that back to starting for bed at 10/10:30…but it’s still not quite enough.

I’ve been kind of ignoring the issue, hoping it was just this pocket of time and when we move to the next pocket of time, the issue would resolve itself…but it doesn’t seem to be the case.  Also, looking ahead, Isaac’s buses are only going to come earlier (summer school has an earlier start than regular school) and earlier (high school starts 90 minutes before middle school).  If I’m waiting for this pocket of time to change, well, it’s a really big-ass pocket of sleep deprivation.

UGH.  Parenting oneself STINKS.

I’m considering just going to bed at the same time as the kids until I feel caught up, and then assessing.  I make better decisions when I’m not a zombie.  Indignant Erika isn’t thrilled with the idea, but Sleepy Erika is Cranky.

To my husband

To my husband


I see you.

I see you get up earlier than you’d like to walk the dog, to make lunches for the boys, to wash-their-faces-brush-their-teeth-comb-their-hair in our one bathroom early enough so you can have a few moments in there to yourself before that bus alarm.

I see you commute further than most of your coworkers who don’t need to think about public schools with autism services.

I see you work late, 1 hour, 2 hour, 3 hours late, and still hustle home to try to make the bedtime ritual.  I don’t know when leaving at 5pm became “not working hard enough” and I hate it for you, but I see you play that game so well, controlling the optics of who sees you at work, doing damn fine work while you’re there, and still making our family a priority.

I see you leave for business trips by plane, by train, by carpooling with coworkers, and I know your introverted soul shrinks at all the social niceties and politics you must play on this trips, and I see you nevertheless do it well.  I see you take a deep breath and pack your suitcase and go back out, because it’s part of the job, and this job makes our life here possible.

I see that on Saturdays, the house is a little cleaner when I return from teaching than when I left.  I don’t see you cleaning since I’m not home, but I know our boys, so I know it’s you.

I see you set up the diffuser at night so I have one less obstacle between me and finally getting in bed (one more thing, I say, one more thing to do…)

I see that you are weary.  I see how the dark, cold, New England winters pull you down.  I see how you work so hard, give so much, and have so much less freedom to do fun things, new things, on a whim things than your peers.  And I see how in all of that, you never give up.  You get out of bed and keep going.

I see how you educate people about attachment parenting, about breastfeeding, about autism, about special education, about all these things you surely never thought you’d have to think about, but here you are standing up for it because it’s important to our family, and I see how fiercely you love and protect our family.

You asked me to take your last name when we married because you wanted us all, you, me, and our future children, to share a name.  To be a Team.  I saw that family in your eyes when you told me this, and I had no idea what our future held, but I wanted to do it with you.  That spark, that dream you had, I see you fight for it, slave for it, prioritize it, day after day.  It is harder than we ever imagined, and it is richer too, and it began with you.

I see you.  I love you.