Ella and I like to play salon in the new space.
I might have mentioned before how wonderful my husband is. When it was time to finish our basement he revised his carefully laid out plan to include a room exclusively for hairdressing. It’s my room. It’s the space in the house where no one is allowed to touch anything and when our children are in the space, they have to sit quietly while I scissor away at their wigs. Ella made me a sign for the door, offering haircuts up for ten dollars, and shaves for three 🙂
The room reminds me of the experience I had behind the chair in the salon where I had the privilege of getting to know some pretty amazing people. It serves as a marker for a time when I was independent and living under fewer demands, and a little less stress. The beauty of this space, my new space is that I get to show my children this side of myself–the hairdresser side, the person who once could have never imagined what was to come.
So you see, it wasn’t only the revised floor plan for the basement, it was much more than that. It is about truly knowing a person, respecting and admiring them; understanding that your life is a compilation of events, some occurring in your past, some present, that shape who you are and how you nurture your relationships. My husband and our children? The best clients I will ever have, without a doubt.
How can you deny their sweet playfulness?
A few days ago I was on my way out of our neighborhood. Kids packed in the backseat with breakfast, lunch, changes of clothing, blankets and books for naps, and the various other 15 miscellaneous items they might require throughout the day, in tow. I noticed something that made me sad, but also a bit reassured: A woman dressed in business attire was shoving, who I can assume was, her daughter up the walk to a neighbor’s front door just in time for the school bus to file in. Yes. Shoving.
“Shoving” may not be beyond me as I attempt to get Michael and Lily out of bed, down the stairs, into coats and shoes and finally belted into car seats. Michael has two paces: slow and slower. Lily clutches onto me and demands water from the time I lift her out of her crib until I finally remember to grab it on the way out the door.
The hour before we leave on Tuesday and Thursday morning is an anxious-ridden, anger-provoking, emotionally-sensitive time. In an attempt to begin our day out of the house with some sort of semblance we have to, whine a bit about waking up, change diapers, pack two meals, get dressed, go potty, pack a zillion things, warm up the van, load a diaper bag, my work bag, 2 lunch bags, and the bag of miscellaneous items. This woman might feel the same way as she shuffles her daughter to a sitter to wait 5 minutes for her bus. She likely has a meeting, a deadline, something of importance that she must be responsible for and if she leaves 1 minute past 8, she may as well chuck it.
Remember when you used to wake up, shower, watch a little news, maybe have a workout, pack a thoughtful lunch and listen to NPR as you care-freely drove to work? Having kids changes that, especially if you are a woman. I am not complaining, nor am I shifting blame to my husband, who would graciously switch places with me if his schedule allowed (but not for long once he realized how hectic it can become). Rather, I am simply stating what has become so obvious to me since I have returned to work: No matter what the challenge may be at my office, nothing compares to the suckiness of mobilizing my children in the morning in an attempt to get to the sitter and then make it to work on time. There may be an easier way, a calmer atmosphere in someone else’s house, although hard to imagine. The relief, of course is picking them up when it’s all over. This is the calm after the storm—when the wind has blown everything to hell but you know that in a a short hour or two, everything will manage to be put back in its place. In the meantime I’ll enjoy the heal of bread, slice of cheese, and half a box of Good N Plenty I managed to throw in a bag for lunch.