I swear I’m not a debbie downer

Wound up like the inside of a golf ball all bound together until it’s broken open, the strange looking fibers revealed and unravel leaving a mess on the floor. That’s how I feel, it’s what Jack and Fiona go through multiple times a day, it’s what marriage looks like sometimes. Then it gets re-assembled, things get reasembled, but I’m never going to be the nice new perfect golf ball again. I’m feeling aggro this morning, Alan just left for  work, the babies are still sleeping. My body aches and I feel like crying and getting drunk right now. That is life, but this, can I cuss today? Just this one time? This Mother Fucking Holiday Season is Fucking taking it’s Mother Fucking Toll on me. Don’t worry, I’m going to meditate all day today in my studio stitching  on silk and cotton fabrics and painting in soft lovely watercolors. Lindsay is working today and I need a break. I laugh as I write that because she probably needs a break too. Yesterday was exhausting. We decided to take the babies on an adventure to downtown San Rafael. It took two hours to get out of the house. This is normal, this is one of those sticking points between the primary care taker in the family and the breadwinner. There are so many steps to get twin toddlers out the door, so much preparation, I feel like I can’t relax for one minute. The minute I do Jack and Fiona have emptied a drawer or climbed something new that they couldn’t climb the day before. It’s really stressful, but only for me I feel like. Anyhow we get to forth street, I need to get fabric at Dharma, Lindsay needs a new vape, then we’re getting Indian food for lunch. We start off at the pet store. There’s a baby rat, a hamster, fish, and lots of nice interesting people working in the pet store. A customer before me bought five dozen crickets      And a container of worms. Was she going fishing? One girl at the register couldn’t add, she needed to call her boss out to figure out how much the crickets were. He had a faded tye die t- shirt, long grey hair, round rimmed glasses, a friendly voice and a nice smile. There was something about him that reminded me of my drifting past. Did I know him? Did I used to hang out in pet shops? We left the pet shop and walked into the vape shop, it was filled with vapers, I thought the babies probably shouldn’t be in here and right at that moment the guy said “they aren’t allowed in here”

“O.k. I said”

“I’ll meet you at Lotus”says Lindsay. 

I take Jack and Fiona by the hands and we cross the street.

“Hurry, run” I say as I teach my kids how to Jay Walk. 

We walk into Lotus.

“Hi Elvis” 

He can’t believe how much Jack and Fiona have grown. I used to take them here when they were babies, when they would sit in the stroller or be content in a high chair. 

They are super excited to be back. 

“Elephant” Jack says, pointing to all the Elephant sculptures.

“More elephant”

We take our usual table way in the very   back corner. Lindsay arrives and we order dosas, biryani,  popadoms, chickpeas, it’s a beautiful meal. We do our best to get Jack and Fiona to behave, which is an impossible task. We sit and eat for 2-3 minutes together before one of them gets up and walks to another table, starts whining when we make them come back, then another 2-3 minutes of peaceful eating, then I take one of them for a walk to watch the cooks in the kitchen or look at bags of fennel seeds and rice and jars of curry in the store. Then back again for the final course of mango lassies and chai tea. This holds thier attention until they suck the last bit and have orange mustaches . 

When Alan got home he told me about the nice lunch he had today with some work people, how delicious the food was. I envisioned him and his collegues sitting, drinking, eating, in a non-kid friendly slightly darkened restaurant. With comfortable chairs. I imagine him sitting the whole time, maybe going to the bathroom once or twice. Relaxed. Then I glance back at my lunch, food strewn everywhere,  mass chaos, like that table of drunken annoying college jocks, the other guests having their holiday luncheons, maybe wishing we weren’t there walking around looking at the pictures of India hanging over their tables while they eat. Anything to keep the babies quiet. 

My back and neck ache, my eyes feel dry and stingy. I hear the babies coughing and waking now. The day is just getting light but I feel I’ve been up for hours. My shoulders are scrunching up into my ears. 

Damn this holiday season. Damn you. 

 

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins