The kids were whisked away yesterday around lunchtime for an excursion to Duluth with family friends. I took today off of work for the sheer novelty of having a day with J without kids.
It’s all coming back to me now, what that used to be like!
I got home from work yesterday and went out to dinner with J and N. Came home, watched a terrible movie. (Bring It On: In It to Win It, if you must know. I’m spoiled by the cancelled tv series Hellcats, which was SO VERY GOOD.) Slept in this morning until 7:30. Got up and checked the internet and made tea, none of which are particularly novel. But I haven’t said “no talking while you are eating” or “have you washed yet?” or “do not run in the house!” in a full day.
J and I had a leisurely morning of getting ready for the YMCA, and set out. Three blocks away we were stopped by furniture. There, sitting on the streetcorner, was an old and battered … I don’t know what it is. A fold-out desk with glass-fronted shelves and some drawers. An occasional desk of some sort. Lovely and wooden and old and with a Pokemon sticker hidden inside a concealed pen-holder. Just the sort of furniture our house needs.
I’m thirty-eight years old, and my taste in furniture has apparently not changed since I was twenty. Old, wooden, pre-battered by some other family so I don’t have to worry about keeping it nice. Free is an especially important criterion. My house is full of streetcorner furniture, or pieces from people who were moving and needed to give things away. (Thank you, still, Leah, for those bookshelves, they are much-loved and much-used.) If furniture is very nice I think, “oh, goodness, now I have to WORRY about it.” I’m not … not habitually thoughtful about material objects. I sort of don’t want Nice Things.
So this occasional desk was calling to us. (Every time I refer to a piece of furniture as an occasional something, I half-wish it meant that the piece was occasionally a desk, and occasionally a star-cruiser, or a kitten, or a crosswalk.) We were in J’s car, which is good, that’s the larger car. But the occasional desk (and part-time opera singer, who am I to quash a desk’s ambitions) was simply Too Large.
Much Too Large.
We pondered. I suggested balancing the piece on the roof of the car, holding on to it through the sunroof, but J nixed that. (Not even for three blocks. Spoilsport.) It was too heavy for us to carry to our house. The longer we stared at it, the more attached I became. I wanted this occasional-desk-slash-weekend-hedge-maze to be mine.
We stared. We noted that, across the street, was a house belonging to friends of ours who were 1) likely home and 2) had a much larger minivan. J approached and inquired about the possibility of transport. Said family was somewhat taken aback by the unexpected presence of a spandex-clad J and an intransigent desk (who might moonlight as a French moped) but allowed as how the Much Larger Minivan might be available for transport later in the day.
Relived, J and I hauled the desk and all its hypothetical alternate identities to said friends’ yard, removed the signs saying “FREE” from the object in question, and set out for the rest of our morning.
The rest of the morning involved pastry, chai, working out at the Y, stopping for needed groceries (chocolate, ice cream, sorbet, apples, bananas, and soy milk) at Target, and coming home to check the internets.
Which, Dear Reader, is where you find me now.
The kids will be home in an hour or so. This is all to the good, because I miss them when they are gone. For all our child-free morning, J and I likely spent a third of the time talking about our kids. (When we weren’t attempting to readjust the material properties of wood, metal, and plastic so as to fit a 54-inch item through a 48-inch aperture.)
The truth of the matter is, I have no time in my life that is mentally sans children. I hope they had a great time in Duluth. I hope they come home to find this lovely desk in the dining room.
Filed under: Autobiography, Optimistic Humanist, Parenting | Tagged: family, furniture, kids | 2 Comments »