Why I Do What I Do

It was a good morning to be reminded.

I rolled over when I awoke, keeping my eyes closed against the reality of morning. My blankets felt too safe and warm to leave for an arbitrary deadline. I mean, so what if school lunches got made ten minutes later? I’m a good enough mom that they’d eventually get made. I’m just not a good enough mom to embrace the mind-numbing monotony of daily routine without a few snooze buttons.

Once downstairs, I began my usual morning monologue:

“Brush your hair,” quickly followed by “Well, then, brush it again!”

“It’s cold today; Dress appropriately…okay, more appropriately.”

“Take your vitamins.”

“Come back and eat breakfast – it’s the most important meal of the day!”

I looked at the clock, then the dirty dishes. My extra snooze cost me. I would have to leave the syrupy dishes on the counter. I hate leaving dishes on the counter. I also hate scraping dehydrated high fructose corn syrup off stoneware dishes.

To think that I used to have an expense account. And an office. And dry clean only garments.

I dropped the kids off at school, switching the radio to NPR as I drove away. They were interviewing the parents of Avielle Richman, one of the children shot and killed in Newtown, Connecticut last year.

And I remembered: someday this will all be over.

Someday, my children’s childhood will be over. Hopefully they’ll age out uneventfully, our nuclear family intact. But what if something else happens? To them, or to me?

But what are the odds

Except the odds had not saved Avielle Richman, nor did it prevent my Dad from dying unexpectedly when I was fourteen. What if the odds don’t protect me and my kids from whatever the future holds in it’s vice grip, the one that tightens with each passing day?

So today, I remember.

I will probably forget again. But today I remember.

The reason I agreed to make as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as it took, to walk to the bus stop at 4PM to help carry home the heavy saxophone case, to grocery shop mid-day so I can drive to and fro later in the day is because life gave me the opportunity to do so, to spend this time with my children, and I would be a fool to do anything other than wring out as many unplanned moments and memories as I can before it’s over.


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