No one who knows me well--or at all--would describe me as an organizational genius. I am often one step away from total chaos. But that's an important step, and usually we (my family and I) manage to avoid it. Take this weekend, for example.
Yesterday afternoon I picked the kids up early from school to head an hour and a half west for the installation ceremony for a sculpture dedicated to one of my favorite professors. We made it to the ceremony just in time, where we met my husband, who had come out earlier under his own steam (for reasons that will become apparent later). The ceremony was lovely, the kids were reasonably well-behaved, and I got to see some old friends. After the ceremony we took the kids out to dinner at the local diner, then returned to the house where we were staying, where my husband blew up the air mattress, made beds, etc. and the kids did gymnastics in the tick farm, I mean the yard, while I went to pick up the babysitter.
The babysitter was a lovely college student we'd never met (recommended by friends), and the kids immediately dragged her into their combination gymnastics/tick hunt. We left them in her care and hightailed it off to the swim team reunion my husband was in town to attend. We saw more old friends, drank beer, and got home (where the babysitter had done a wonderful job) and in bed by 11.
At 7:15 this morning the kids and I were off to head back over the hills to our real home, with a stop in the neighboring town at 9 am for Patrick's tee-ball practice. Afterwards we ate brunch, made an emergency stop at the drugstore for anti-itch cream for a crop of mosquito bites (hopefully not tick bites) on Charlotte's knees, and ran home, where Patrick and I changed into nice clothes and Charlotte changed into soccer clothes. We dropped Charlotte at a teammate's house, and then Patrick and I drove across the river to attend a couple Commencement receptions at my work. I managed to carry on several actual conversations with students and their parents, accomplished by feeding Patrick a steady stream of crackers, cookies, eclairs and other ridiculousness from the refreshment table. He also demonstrated his excellent conversational skills, which can be summed up as, "Enough about you--back to me!" Because really, when your child is graduating from college, what you really want to do is talk to her adviser's 5-year-old about his blossoming tee-ball career.
Patrick and I left by 4:30 to head back across the river to soccer practice, where we picked up Charlotte and the aforementioned teammate, who is now ensconced here for a sleepover. My husband is still out in the Berkshires at his reunion. Although he did show up here midday for a Commencement reception of his own at his (different) institution. Tomorrow morning he will get home before I have to leave the house at 8:20 to get back over the river for the actual Commencement ceremony. And then after Commencement I will hightail it back here to do a substantial brick workout.
The point being: so far (am I jinxing this?) we are managing to get through what is a logistically complicated weekend for all of us. But life is not always so smooth.
Thursday I had arranged to meet a friend for an easy bike ride over lunch hour. When I went to get dressed for the ride, I realized my bike shorts were still 10 miles away, hanging on our drying rack. I have forgotten glasses, sports bras, water bottles--but this was the first time I'd shown up without shorts. (I've also come to work in workout clothes for an early morning swim or run--I've done this more than once--and neglected to pack underwear for the rest of the day. But in at least one case I've solved that problem by going to the house of a friend who lives near work and stealing her underwear. But I digress.) I was already about to be late to meet my friend, who has an actual job, with, like, time commitments and stuff. So I kept on the skirt I was wearing (a recent hand-me-down, and fortuitously sporty, from my friend Nancy), got otherwise kitted up, and headed out on my cow bike. I convinced my friend to detour past the closest bike shop, where I got a new pair of bike shorts, and where they graciously offered to hold my skirt and underwear while I rode. (It turned out these fit just fine in my jersey pockets, though I was sort of distracted during the first part of the ride by the worry that my rolled-up underwear was peeking out of my jersey.)
This might be a sign that I'm losing it--"it" being that tenuous grasp on whatever you want to call this side of chaos. But I'm hoping it's just an end-of-the-semester thing, and it will dissipate when I get all my grades in, catch up on my sleep, and get more into the rhythm of biking and all the equipment one needs to do it.
Finally, thanks to Dena and Dave for their helpful hair advice after my last post. Special kudos to Dave, who acknowledged his own hairless status but still came up with a creative (though totally ridiculous) solution.