On Monday the girls will go back to school. They've had a week off and even though David has been working hard, I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, mostly doing nothing.
I have enjoyed telling people that I won't be able to meet that deadline or send out that email because the girls were off and I wanted to spend time with them. Oh, I did a few work things, took a phone call here and there, during little moments of TV watching or drawing, but mostly, I was out of service. And I loved it.
I enjoyed cooking this week. I found a bunch of recipe ideas I wanted to try - simple things mostly and weirdly, because I'm on a one-chef kick these days, most of them from Jamie Oliver. When I had to stop making crafts to make lunch, the girls made it with me. (In the picture Lucy and I are making asparagus soup topped with a ciabatta toast and a poached egg. Gracias Jamie Oliver) They didn't always eat what we made. Sometimes they made faces at me (Green Soup? Gross!)and asked if I had gone mad on them, but mostly they were game.
I enjoyed the cooking. Veal and ale stew. Eggplant parmigiana. Squid and potatoes. A roast chicken so juicy we ate with our fingers. I enjoyed Lucy drawing a picture of me with my hands up around my ears and blowing raspberries and then falling into a hysterically laughing lump on the floor unable to catch her breath. I enjoyed the slowness of the way the day unfolded. The way Edie hugged me a lot and told me she loved me with her arms looped around my neck. The way my husband was often working in the other room and not in his office in Union Square and I could sneak over and wrap my arms around him and kiss his neck. In the middle of a work day. That is a gift. I loved all those things.
But here's what I didn't miss...
The dishes. With three full meals a day and snacks that don't come pre-prepared in bags, I spent nearly any free time I had without the kids, making breakfast, washing breakfast dishes, prepping lunch, making lunch, washing lunch dishes, making snacks, cleaning up after snacks, finding soiled dishes under the couch, washing the soiled dishes, prepping dinner, making dinner, cleaning up after dinner, more washing dishes. Then, after we had a drink or two when the kids went to bed, there were a couple waiting for me in the sink the next morning.
I realize with the kids in school and David at the office most week days, I only do the dishes once, maybe twice a day. (David does all the laundry - thank God - so this is my chore and mine alone.) I am not looking forward to sending my kids back to school on Monday, to going back to my unopened, waiting emails, to the grind of early morning wake-ups and school pick-ups and drop-offs, all our running around the city, shuttling my two and their friends to a play date at our house by way of a crowded public city bus. I'm not looking forward to my looming writing deadlines or David working from his office again. I am still savoring our time together.
But I am very happy to give up doing all these dishes. For that alone, Monday could not come soon enough.