Fall Day

Tonight the fluffy black cushions on the swing outside my kitchen looked so inviting that I glanced around to make sure no one was looking and then I collapsed onto it. Rarely do I ever just sit and do absolutely nothing. It makes me feel guilty somehow (I’m pretty sure it comes from being raised by two hard-core workaholics.) But tonight, it was cool with that newness of fall that is so welcome after a long, hot summer. The breeze was blowing through the leaves of the giant oak tree in our yard and the crickets were chirping. I could hear a frog or two from somewhere in the backyard along with the clatter of dishes from inside where the kids were cleaning up from dinner. Next door a dog barked and I heard the muted sound of a telephone ringing from a house across the street.

Doing nothing gives you time to think. Maybe that’s another reason I don’t “do nothing” very often: I’m a worrier and I don’t really WANT to think about a lot of things. Or perhaps I should say DWELL on them, seeing as how that’s what I’m good at doing.

But tonight, I just thought about my day. This morning, Jed went over to play with our neighbors while the rest of us took Sadie to the eye doctor. Her eyes were fine. It turned out that her seasonal allergies were making her sight a little blurry. Josie and Adelaide were very interested in the whole eye exam procedure and they were even more enthralled at the way the optometrist talked. It was so hard not to laugh at him (he sounded very much like Mr. Mackey, the “MKAY?” teacher from the South Park cartoons. I was shaking with laughter and trying to remain silent but my laughing made Josie and Adelaide laugh, and it just got worse and worse as he said to Sadie, “How’s 2? And three? And what about 4? Mkay… and 5? Well then what about 6? And then 7?”

After we made it out of there without totally offending him (I think) the girls and I bought Icees and shopped at Walmart. We needed gummy vitamins and gum, so of course I ended up spending $98. Sadie checked her blood pressure in the little machine next to the pharmacy. Adelaide asked for whitening toothpaste and Josie needed a new pair of leggings (we used her old ones with holes in the knees to make a scarecrow yesterday.) The girls were good the first 10 minutes, but then they got on my nerves with their singing (yes, SINGING) and general goofiness so we packed up and got out of there.

It just so happens that our local thrift store is right next to Walmart AND Wednesday is half-price day. It also just so happens that my girls love thrift stores (and a good sale) like nobody’s business. They begged to go in. I gave them 15 minutes. Sadie found brand new boots, Adelaide found a hat, and Josie found a “Josie-ish” sweater. I love that they love thrift stores and that they couldn’t care less about brand names and labels. It thrills the cheapskate in me.

We picked up Jed and the mail (my great uncle sent me a stack of old photos today!) and then we met my mom for lunch – Mexican, of course. Adelaide and Josie got in a fight over who got to sit by Grammie. Adelaide cried, Josie stomped off to the bathroom, and I sat next to Grammie and told them both to get over it. Sadie was only concerned with having her very own cheese dip. Jed was pretty focused on pounding tortilla chips to crumbs with his fist. It was a good lunch, especially since we looked through the photos while we were waiting. Josie thinks her Papaw was pretty much the most handsome guy who ever lived – even more handsome than Tim Tebow, and that’s saying a lot.

We read The Penderwicks in the car on the way home. Adelaide even read an entire paragraph all by herself and her sisters congratulated her. We all love that book – how the sisters take care of each other and stand up for their “family honor.” We talked about how one of them should name her little girl Rosalind someday and Sadie called dibs since it’s been her favorite book the longest (she’s read it five or six times.)

We also talked about how cultural norms are different from one country to another – and how on this very day in India, a little girl the same age as Sadie is working as a servant to her in-laws-to-be and drinking the water that she used to wash their feet in BEFORE she’s allowed to eat her breakfast (this may or may not have been used in comparison to the ridiculous poor pitiful me attitude displayed by Josie with her new leggings, Icee, and lunch in a restaurant for no good reason.)

Sadie then made up an awful song to the tune of “Winter Wonderland,” except that her song was about loins that were burning and butts that were churning. Perhaps the Mexican food did not sit too well with her or perhaps she’s a little too much like her dad. I think her song is called “Pooping in a Toilet Wonderland” and it is a great source of enjoyment to everyone in my house (under the age of 13, anyway.)

We came home and the kids played pirate ship outside. This is their new obsession. They pile up lawn furniture and jump from it while holding the rope on the Killer Death disc swing outside. They swing over to Jed’s motorized Jeep and come aboard the “deck.” This is all done in full pirate regalia. I hear voices yelling things like “Aargh, me mateys!” and “Avast! Aghast! Whatever that word is!” and “Crème Brulee! (that last one is Jed’s new favorite – at least it’s better than “Wiener Sausage.”)

Jed had football practice tonight and he made a touchdown on offense and stopped a touchdown of defense. He was very pleased with himself. Sadie, Josie, and Adelaide played Monopoly and a rousing game of “Run Around the Ottoman,” which is exactly what it sounds like… don’t get this one confused with their other game invention, “Guess What’s in the Sock.” I’m pretty sure Milton Bradley will not be hitting them up for ideas anytime soon.

That’s pretty much it. We school year-round so we take days off when we need/want to, and the end of September is the best part of the year to spend outside, in my opinion. My re-thinking of the day is complete, but this swing is so comfy that I think I might sit outside just a little while longer.