How it was, what its like

“Time to go for a walk babies, do you want to take Billy for a walk?” I say. We just finished eating pasta for dinner, “This is how we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face, this is how we wash our face early in the evening.” I sing as I attempt to clean Jack and Fiona’s spaghetti sauce faces. I do a good enough job, grab both babies out of their high chairs, carry them down the stairs, Jack slipping out of my arm, I make it to the bottom without dropping one, set them both down. I open the door to the garage, “Look Daddy’s home.” I say. Alan is putting out the trash. Jack and Fiona scurry around the garage, touching things they shouldn’t touch, playing with a half put together toy dump truck we got for their birthday. (Alan put the wrong screw in one of the wheels so now he needs a long screwdriver to get it out, the kind of thing that eventually goes to the dump without ever being used) I go upstairs and put on  Billies leash, she’s shedding like crazy, big clumps of hair falling out, there’s no way to control it. I bring her downstairs and Alan has Jack and Fiona in the B.O.B. for me. “You guys need to learn how to do this” I say as I brush some of the clumps of hair off Billy. I imagine Jack and Fiona brushing Billy, loving her, taking care of her. She’ll probably be dead though before any of that actually happens. First we walk down the hill, “Billy’s sniffing, she loves to sniff, come on Billy, whoa!” she stops and pulls me backwards, “Billy, come on, you’re not going to pull me backwards on hills today, LET’S Go Girl!” I say. “Look at the trees guys, oh my god it’s going to be a bad night for pollen, can you feel the pollen in the air?” I say. Past the Bret Harte playground, I ask myself, is it really that bad? (I can’t get my first visits out of my mind, the dog poop, the dirty diaper in the corner, I won’t know until Jack and Fiona are older and we spend more time here, I think to myself.)  I really like the big Oak Tree. Up the next hill I’m laughing out loud. Smiling, wondering if I’m crazy? Crazy happy? Why do I have so much energy tonight? I imagine People think I’m crazy when they hear me talking and laughing while walking Billy and pushing the stroller. Before the babies came Alan used to always tell me, “Stop talking to yourself.” Now technically I’m not talking to myself any more, I’m talking to Jack and Fiona. I’ve always talked to my dogs. It’s natural. “Do you see the trees? The half-moon in the sky? The single dove on the telephone pole? Look at this pinecone.  The sun, no wait the sun is already down. Babies the sun is already down, but we’re lucky, we’ll make it home before dark. Oh my gosh, what if today was the last day we saw the sun? ” I think about it, the last day, that day will come. My new motto is “Keep on Movin’ Keep on Groovin’. Keep the wheels turning, that kinda thing. Yesterday it happened again, I got the babies down for their nap. I had to give them a bath, I didn’t use wipes at the park today. (the park I drove too, because at the time I think it’s a nicer park than my neighborhood park.) They have dirt on their legs, food on their faces, just messy! I watch the other moms at the park wiping the hands and faces of their babies several times. Sometimes thoughts appear in my mind, self-conciousness, “Do they think I’m a slob? I’m really dirty?” Even Alan has made comments after meals that I haven’t cleaned Jack and Fiona’s faces good enough and they are going to break out. Interesting huh? I wonder why people are so into cleanliness. Anyhow the babies were taking their nap, I had all my workout clothes on the floor, I was going to go through them and turn some into painting rags. I tell myself, “Just do it really fast” and I did. But I came upstairs to get some water, I decided I NEED to go to my studio and paint for a minute. Kaboom! I see the kitchen is a complete disaster, after the park I brought everything up and set it on the center Island. (The babies are asleep right now) I find myself walking around in circles picking stuff up, putting things in the sink, in the fridge, in new piles of like items. “STOP!” I say to myself. “Grab the baby monitor and water and Go to your studio!” I can finish cleaning later. I get into my studio. I’m feeling super inspired, is it the babies? Their passion for life? I don’t know but I’m feeling freedom. I paint fast and into new territories. I’m excited by the drawing I’m doing, the unconscious feeling I have when I paint with my few remaining usable paintbrushes, (I ruin all my paintbrushes, they turn hard as rocks) I grab a palette. The colors show up in my mind, I mix them. I use restraint not to overwork every single piece. I already have a huge pile of overworked pieces. (I may turn these into collage down the road) Its 5:30PM, I can’t believe the babies have slept so long. I finish up in my studio and go inside the house. (my studio is in the garage, built into the hillside. It stays the same temperature all year long) All is quiet, but I realize I had the wrong baby monitor. Oh well, they needed that rest and I needed to work in my studio no matter what. I walk in the house expecting to hear crying babies, but the house is still quiet. Sweet little babies, in their nursery, in their cribs. On white cotton sheets, a quiet peace surrounding Jack and Fiona as they sleep like babies, a sweetness I’ve never know before. Maybe comparable to a sweet late spring day, where the chimes chime in the breezy afternoon. The doors in the house, windows open, letting the light and smells of the day filter through my body. There are always sweet, lovely things to hang on to in life. Even on the most stressful, busy  days.

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins