My children sleep through bombs. When we are on the farm, the wargames testing that happens at the joint base miles away used to shake the little farmhouse. Now they sleep as deeply, also, I think, because wouldn't you sleep that deeply if you knew I were your mother? I like to think so. Let Shere Khan stick his mangy head in my den.
I wake to the morning, and I hear them both, breath in so long, breath out so long. It is Monday, I decide, for other people. My children are tired, I take them through with me on these exhaustive journeys of enterprise. Last Friday my little one worked alongside me on a fourteen hour day. I emailed, took meetings, changed clothing, cleaned the rental to show it on Saturday. By nine o clock we ate French supper, rather than American dinner at five. She was sagging with exhaustion. I woke her on Saturday to show the rental.
The children woke at nine, only slightly confused. She showed up in a blue tutu, he was wrapped in a zebra striped blanket. I surveyed the residents of this home with my own vantage point. I was, by comparison, sensibly dressed. It's an agreement in this home that we don't speak loudly and never before breakfast, and so we softly padded off to different locations. I lazed on the preparation and put out cold cereal, blueberries, bananas. My daughter finished her breakfast and went out of doors to stand on the back patio and sing with a microphone a song about chihuahuas to the neighbor who is a doctor of some sort. He was her audience and gave her due applause.
I emailed the school, truthfully, that both were striken with a summer cold. They retreated quickly to their respective beds, again, exhaustion. It's a hard time of year, too, they test the children so much on every detail.
I have heard that the egg whites are the most healthful part of the egg, so accordingly I am eating merangues for my break-fast.
I am behind on things. Lunch approaches. For the children, there is buttered bread, hard boiled eggs, sliced turkey or bacon if they prefer, sliced and lightly salted tomatoes and avocados, apples.
And now it is later. My body aches, my toes specifically. Ballet night. I worked so hard in class that at one point I simply could not relevé, though I bid my feet to rise. I am not on pointe, but even so, one's toes are quite involved. Last week we danced to contemporary music - Pirates of the Carribean (I suggested in future, might we use The Game of Thrones themesong?) This week it was Don Quixote, the Gypsy dance. I liked it, but partnering is not for me, not now. We did spent some time lazily moving through waltzes afterwards. It may be that I try the tango classes on Friday.
My teenager babysat his sister, which means I came home to toys strewn from hell to breakfast. So many matchbox cars. And yet, as always, when I came home they were mostly playing with each other and the dog and a blanket. On days off from school, video games and electronics are not generally permitted, as days off are granted for need of rest.
Work is complicating, there's so very much nesting I long to do here, but I leave for a work trip next Tuesday and I do not come back until June 2nd. There's a very small chance I shall have to turn around and leave again for another three to four weeks on June 5th. My son will be immersed with his coaches, five day a week practices up until the Junior Nationals. My daughter will go to the coast to be with her father, where she can hear the ocean crashing against the shore from her little tiny bedroom. I hate the children separated, and they dislike it too. But he would barely see her during his practices anyway. He asks me when she is to start but I have the feeling that her sport is something else, specifically swimming. And she is so young that Mum-Mum being gone that long is a little scary still. So it's best if she's with Dada.
It would be exhillaring and also saddening to lose June with my children. It's the end of school, my birthday, Junior Nationals and then the Fourth, which we love to spend at the Coast with my daughter's father. He likes nothing more than his house overrun with his former but still extended family, including my brother and my cousin's families and ours totaling ten hard headed children and four adults, all of whom shout at him about politics and clog his washing machine up with sand. And yet, he does love it.
We shall see. This job-in-June has come and gone like Bigfoot so many times I don't worry overmuch. If it doesn't come the summer will still be so good, long and hot and lazy and then there will be the Fourth, with clouds of smoke and sparklers and marching bands. We will probably blast Hamilton and Journey in odd mixes and have marshmallow torches and bathingsuits full of sand.
It's late, and Chopin is making me sleeply. I do sometimes wish I were partnered, and this is one of those times. My imaginary husband smiles at me from the kitchen, a towel over his shoulder where he is loading the dishwasher.
"Don't worry about it," he says, "I'll finish up this and then do a late night run to the store for milk, sound good? Oh and I put away your laundry."
"Thank you so much," I say. I stand to go and run a hot bath.
"Katie?" he says, and I turn from my spot in the hallway.
"The kids were amazing today," he says, "they're really the best kids in the world."
He's such a good man, my imaginary husband. And see? He likes my kids.
It really is time for me to go to bed.