On the way home from the gym last night, Michael and I were talking about our favorite day of the week. Actually, we were talking about my favorite day of the week, which is Friday. Really, my favorite day and time is Friday about 10 am. In my current incarnation, I do not have to go to campus on Fridays and my online classes are usually not as active on Fridays--the due dates for assignments being Monday through Thursday. Everyone is tucked in for the week, and I am simply able to write, walk, workout, grocery shop, or, as I did yesterday for a while, sit outside under the umbrella and read.
Moreover, everything is possible. The weekend often opens up like a slow flower, things possible. Friday morning has potential and hope and grace. It's not like Sunday night about 7 when the week rises like a slightly depressed specter, incanting, "You will read 40 essays! You will read 20 scenes! Your agent will tell you he is not particularly engaged by your excerpt. You will go to seven meetings, and at one be called a racist."
Friday morning at 10 is not like Wednesday afternoon at 4, where there is still so much to be done. Wednesday is an old dog with a dried up bone. And Friday morning is not like the adrenaline flare of Monday morning at 4.30, when Michael gets out of bed at that time for the first of five times that week.
No, Friday morning is a beautiful thing now, and I told Michael all this on the way home I stopped myself. "But I didn't feel like that when my kids were little."
Actually, when my kids were little, I feared the weekend, Friday afternoon unwrapping itself to be a long slog of preparing meals and driving to various activities. When they were very little, my husband and I did the Tilden Park "free" tour, hitting all the places that were free (that was as our price range)--the botanical garden, the little farm, the walk around Lake Anza. If we were flush, we'd stop at the merry go round and let them have a ride or two. Then we would head home for lunch, and then I would start thinking about dinner.
When they were older, it was a series of driving jaunts: to swimming, basketball, soccer, tutoring. Whatever it was, and of course, I had likely signed them up for it all. there was the possibility that my husband and I might go out Saturday night, but the idea was always exhausting. I had to put on makeup? Sometimes, I would just give up.
Finally, Monday would roll around, and I'd cart everyone to school and then drive to work, strangely free at last.
When we arrived home from the gym, I walked over to the window that looks out to the valley and the bird feeder. There on the deck railing was a fledgling junco, screaming its little beak off as dad ate up seeds on the feeder. The noise a baby junco makes is pretty darn intense, a high pitched squeal, probably the sonar that reminds dad not to flag in his duties. Dad flew back to the rail, and that baby charged him, mouth open, squealing all the way. As this happened, his siblings (and I named them Pig, Hog, and Fatty) flew up and started in on dad, too. Dad, seemingly unruffled by all these open beaks, went back to the feeder to start all over again. Clearly, it was already the weekend for him.
Now, I have no baby beaks around me, no one charging at me wanting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a ride downtown. No one calls me to pick him up from the pool or school or a friend's house. They have literally flown the coop, made their own nests, and will at some point find themselves in the junco weekend. Not soon, I hope. But eventually.
I'm not sure I would go back, but it's easier now to long for one Saturday like I had back then. What would I do? Make pancakes. Sit at the table. Watch them one last time.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org