I can’t decide, really, whether my favorite part of the day is my drive into work, or right now, the magic hour between the kids’ bedtime and mine.
The drive into work is my time. Absolutely silent, no radio, no one talking, no noise except the air outside the car window. The sun is up and shining but the world is still fresh and damp as the night lifts away and hands over time to the light. I have my coffee, I’ve had my shower, and the hours stretch before me filled with possibility. My hair and makeup are done, and my clothes are sill fresh and crisp. I have a gorgeous commute – I pass through a poplar forest at the edge of a river where the water is still and swampy and I’m technically on a bridge, although it feels like it’s just a raised roadbed. Right now, the tree trunks are still stark grey against the dark water and it feels like watching a herd of zebras, the light making the trees and shadows into a swirling tangle of stripes. The leaves have just started to bud out, the lightest cake frosting of lime green touching the tips of the branches overhead. The summer is actually the time I think is the least pretty – with all the green all around, the trees blend back into the forest, just more branches in the tangled underbrush. But in the fall – Oh! in the fall! – those leaves blaze out into the most amazing yellow and it takes my breath away as I drive in and then back out in the afternoon. Forget flowers – they are pitiful imitations of the color that those trees put forth in their glory.
On the flip side, I have my time now, here at the end of the day, at the end of all things. The errands have been run, we’ve battled our way through dinner, the dishes are washed, the kids bathed and storied and nursed and tucked in and finally asleep, I have my last cup of reheated coffee from the morning’s pot going cold again in front of me as I type, and I have my own bed beckoning from upstairs. We’ve worked out a sleep schedule (finally) that allows me more than a few consecutive hours. Baby gets nursed/bottled/rocked/patted/whateverittakesdon’tjudgememan to sleep on the couch, and she hangs out with Manly until he comes to bed around midnight-ish. At that point, he handles last diaper change and a final bedtime bottle. I go to bed earlier and have a couple hours of blessed alone sleeping time (i.e., no one is
kicking me in the face touching me), and then I usually get another few hours before she wants to nurse early morning. Or before Smaller wakes up to pee and then starts yelling for me to come turn her bedtime music back on and wakes me up anyway. Or before Mini can’t breathe from miserable allergies and wakes up needing a drink and medicine. Or someone pees their bed, or their diaper, and I have to deal with it. After that I may or may not get up and work out or stay in bed and desperately try to will myself back to sleep before my alarm goes off. Off-tangent — tl;dr, my sleep still sucks most nights. But right now, I’m okay. I’m still hopeful that TONIGHT will be the night everyone sleeps through and therefore I will be able to sleep through. One day, it WILL happen. But I’m relaxed and I’m happy and it’s a good hour.
How can I choose? I think it’s a good thing that I have multiple favorite parts of the day. I haven’t even touched on that first blessed cup of coffee with milk and cream in the morning. Or my running time. Or the feeling when all three kids come running when they hear the door open when I get home at night. All those moments are fantastic in their own ways. I can’t pick one favorite without implying that the others are not as good, and that simply isn’t true.
I love my life.