Not bad for a fat girl



The house is quiet except for the sound of rain against the windows and roof, and the soft snoring coming from both the couch and the love seat. I couldn’t be happier.

We’re in transition, this little family of mine. There are four of us, three humans and a dog. My sixteen-year-old son stretches his lanky body across the long couch, breathing in and out rhythmically to the sound of the rain. My fiancé is on the love seat, one leg bent across the arm, the other on the floor, occasionally letting out a noise to let me know he’s still alive and asleep. They have both fallen asleep without meaning to, victims of their own exhaustion.

a_sleeping_dad_on_the_couch_0515-1005-1302-0329_SMUThey are missing the summer storm, with its steady rain and gently rumbling thunder. The dog has settled at my feet, more out of comfort than any sort of alarm. We are all at peace tonight.

I was a little worried. We are in the midst of a move, and we’re in temporary quarters. We had a 1,765 square foot, four-bedroom house that we sold. We’re moving into a 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom house, but it’s not ready yet. Right now we’re in a space that is about 750 square feet and has two bedrooms. Oh, and it was completely full when we got here.

There is not a single empty drawer or even two inches of closet space available in this house. There is no room in the medicine cabinet, the kitchen cupboards, or even on the counters. We have items in suitcases on the floor, items stashed under the one bed, and items under the kitchen table. We have a laundry hamper in the living room, next to a filing cabinet, behind the couch. You might say it’s a little cramped. Still, it’s a roof over our heads, and it’s rent-free at that. I can’t complain. I won’t complain. The air-conditioning works, there is a fridge and two functioning bathrooms, there’s a washer and dryer, and there’s a lovely swimming pool a short walk away. We’re set. Crowded, but set.

Tonight I’m feeling gratitude, not just that we have this place to stay, but that we are together. My son and my fiancé are the two most important people in my life, and the fact that they’re both snoring away on the couches just a few feet from where I’m writing makes me incredibly happy. They could have each retreated to their separate corners, but they didn’t. They could have been self-conscious about letting their guard down, but that wasn’t the case. They are both totally at home here, even amongst all the stuff that I feel is choking us. They aren’t craving solitude, they are embracing togetherness.

I was worried about the lack of space. I was worried that we would begin to get on each other’s nerves and argue, but that hasn’t happened. We’ve adjusted. They’ve adjusted, and they’ve taught me that I can adjust too.


Daily Prompt: Groundhog Day

Today’s daily prompt explores an intriguing idea. What if, like in the movie Groundhog Day, you had the chance to relive a day over and over until you got it “right?” What day would you choose? This prompt made me take a quick mental inventory of the standout days of my life. Would I choose to replay any of them? I don’t think I would. I don’t feel like I have any days that I monumentally messed up. Sure, I’ve made some bad decisions along the way, but none that stand out so glaringly that I would jump at the chance to relive their circumstances in an attempt to change the outcome. For that I’m grateful.

If I were in a Groundhog Day type situation, I think I would choose a typical weekday. Since these are the most common days of my life, I think it would be a great benefit to figure out, once and for all, how to make them as pleasant and productive as possible.  What I would hope to accomplish, after several attempts I’m sure, would be a model day that I would strive to emulate. Here’s how it goes in my mind.

First, the alarm goes off after a restful night’s sleep. I happily get out of bed and begin my morning routine. Ideally, it includes some type of exercise that I find stimulating and enjoyable (this is an ideal, remember?). Then I shower, dress, and join my happy family at the breakfast table for a nutritious and delicious meal that someone (anyone?) has prepared. We have plenty of time to eat and enjoy each other’s company before leaving for school and work with equally nutritious and delicious lunches in hand.

AAAADAInGbUAAAAAAVM-SANaturally I leave the house with plenty of time to spare, and the freeways are clear making the drive quick and safe. We listen to some of our favorite music and sing along as we happily banter during the trip. Soon after, I deliver my sweet son to school, and impart some loving words of wisdom, which he takes to heart, as he starts his day.

I make my way to my work, and arrive early enough to calmly go about my business before the students arrive. Of course the classroom is neat and orderly, all of the materials for the day are ready and organized, and the calendar and boards are updated with the day’s pertinent information.  The computer is up and running and the day’s lessons are polished and ready to go. I greet the students warmly as they enter, and I teach my heart out all day. Every question I ask is thought provoking, every assignment is met with enthusiasm and carefully completed, and every possible need of the students has been anticipated and met. The happy children give hugs and high fives as they leave for the day, excited to return the following day for more of the same.

After dismissal, I meet with colleagues briefly as we review our successes and any potential challenges, and we create some dynamic plans for upcoming instruction. Then I quickly grade some student work, enter it into the gradebook (yes, on the same day), and leave the room ready for the following day.

Now the rest of the afternoon is mine. I pick up my son and he regales me of his triumphs both in and out of the classroom that day. Again our drive is easy, with a soundtrack that we both enjoy. At home our darling puppy greets us, and she hasn’t chewed a single thing aside from her collection of chew toys. My son get right to work on chores and homework, and I read and review the mail and take a few minutes for myself. I may even read a book, or write, or sew.

My sweetheart comes home, and the three of us enjoy a perfect evening with a nutritious dinner and time to enjoy each other’s company. Somehow the cooking and cleaning up get done without anyone really noticing how, and we decide to do something fun together, since all homework has been carefully completed and there are no chores hanging over anyone’s head. Maybe we go to the dog park or the movies. Maybe it’s miniature golf or a video game tournament. Whatever it is, we all enjoy it together.

Finally, after a long day, it’s time to unwind and go to bed. We let each other know how much we appreciate and love one another, and we settle in for a restful night’s sleep.

Yes, I think I could handle that day. In fact, I’ve been working on practicing it already. Maybe someday I’ll nail it, but for now I’ll cherish the parts of it that I do get right. Then the next day, I’ll try again.  After all, I’m the eternal optimist. It could happen.