The word makes me weary. Thursday is Gummy Day at our house. And it’s also the day I teach guitar to anywhere between 20 and 30 students. I’m tired every Thursday night. I come home from guitar around 8:30 pm, usually going straight to Gram and Libby’s place. I get a bite to eat and we settle down to watch something on TV and I inevitably doze off, regardless of how compelling a show may be. Lately, on Thursday nights, I must rouse myself and drag my bones to the computer and think of something to write about, since I made this Lent commitment. If you look at the time stamps on these pieces of random writing, you’ll see that I usually get finished between midnight and 2 am. I guess Thursday is not the only day I end up tired.
I’m not as chipper as I used to be.
Calvin comes to spend the day with me around 8:30 in the morning. Right about when he is ready for a nap it’s time to go pick up Parker from Kindergarten and Ruby from pre-school. When we get home we make some lunch and figure out how we will spend the next 4 hours together. It’s not usually a problem, unless I want to get anything else done. Then I’m in trouble. So I need to really plan my guitar lessons on Wednesdays. I really should…but I don’t always have Wednesdays free to do that.
Anyway, last Thursday, for some reason…(maybe it was that I had tended nearly every other day that week as well) I was super tired around 2 pm. Sleepy tired. The kind of tired that makes you want to turn on a Disney show and give the kids some popcorn; to warm a bottle of milk for Calvin and pray he got sleepy, then tell the kids you’re going to just lie down in your room for a minute.
So that’s what I thought I’d do, before I keeled over in the family room in front of them.
I turned on a show, then went to my room, which is right next to the family room. I fluffed a few pillows on my bed and almost got my poor numb legs settled onto a soft spot when the kids burst into the room.
Ruby was crying, hurt in the deepest part of her little girl heart by something Parker had taken from her.. It was probably something that belonged to Parker. Ruby has big crocodile tears when she cries. They are so sad.
I remember being a young mom. I remember the thinking I trained my brain to undertake in times like this. I never tried to nap as a young mom because inevitably the kids woke me, and then I was super grumpy towards them and…well, it was not pretty.
I had a choice: I could try to settle the argument and get to resting or I could force myself to get up and shake off the need for a nap.
The spirit told me to not allow myself to get into that kind of conversation with myself. No one was going to win that argument.
So I quickly flung my left leg up into the air and then hurled it to the floor, causing my bulk of body to rise in response.
“You know what this means?” I grumbled.
Ruby backed away from me, that look of fear in her big wet eyes. Parker joined her.
“This means….This means…It’s time for a Big Bed Pillow Toss!”
Timothy and Anna are familiar with the Big Bed Toss. I’ve done it to them since they were little. They spend nights here with us fairly often, and the Big Bed Toss is a wonderful morning activity, when mommy and daddy are still asleep or gone to work, and Gumpa is off working as well. That’s when the light from the rising sun streams through the east facing windows. Parker and Ruby never spend the night here, since they live five minutes away.
Park, the elder of the two and a little more brave, asked what the Big Bed Pillow Toss was.
Ruby just hid behind the bed.
“Well,” I said, reaching over the down comforter to the pile of down pillows at the head of our king sized bed…”The Big Bed Pillow Toss is a very fun game. First, you have to fluff all the soft pillows and put them in a pile in the middle of the bed, like this.”
Park helped me arrange the pillows in a glorious pile.
“Then,” I said as I slipped my hands under Parker’s arms, “You pick up a little person, and as soon as they give you a kiss you TOSS them onto the pile of pillows…like THIS!”
I threw my boy up in the air and down onto the airy mound of fluff.
He giggled heartily, catching his breath as he lifted himself out of the cloud.
“THAT wath FUN!”
Ruby peeked out from behind the bed skirt.
I lifted Park again. He automatically kissed my puckered lips and up he went, squealing with delight, then down into the pillows he landed, laughter bubbling out of him like the jet tub filled with bubble bath.
Ruby tossed her grump across the room and wiggled her little body between me and the side of the bed.
Parker fluffed the pillows while I lifted her up. She kissed my lips, threw her arms out, and I tossed her, a little more gently than her brother. She jumped straight up and screamed, “AGAIN!”
We fluffed and kissed and tossed until old Gummy’s arms got so tired. That’s when I suggested we revert to the old standard. Actually, I didn’t so much suggest it with words as I did with a blast on Parker’s head. A puffy soft blast of a fluffy down pillow. He grabbed one and hit me back. Rubes found one of her own and we went at it, laughing so hard our bellies hurt. We went at it until finally, exhausted, the three of us flopped over on the bed, their little chests rising and falling from the exertion.
This, I told myself, is what every weary old woman needs when she wants a pick-me-up. Not coffee. Not a Diet Coke. Not a bowl of ice cream, though that has been proven an effective afternoon energizer. No, a tired and semi-grumpy old Gummy just needs a good king sized bed with a nice down comforter and a good pile of pillows.
Oh, and a couple munchkins willing to kiss her.
I realize today is only Monday...well, actually Tuesday at this point. Don't ask me why I'm writing about Thursday.I guess some of the things that wear us out the most will be the most memorable for us one day.