Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same,
My day can be summed up into the lyrics of three songs. Let’s start with the opening lyrics from the Showtime Series, Weeds. In today’s world, we are still Keeping up with the Jones’s or maybe now it’s the Kardashians. Either way, no matter how together we pretend to have it, there is always crap to deal with under the surface. Nancy Botwin resorts to selling pot to keep up the façade that she can continue her lifestyle even after her husband dies. In my Midwest town, people are willing to sacrifice everything to keep up the image that they have it all together and are loving life. So here is an un-Instagram worthy day, but this is real life.
6:28 AM-Here we go…
I hop out of bed and run up the stairs to wake up my son for school. I spend about 15 minutes getting ready, which usually sacrifices professionalism and style for comfort. I had planned to put a little extra effort forth on my appearance today, but who was I kidding? Finally, I throw on some coffee, slap on a little make-up, grab my refillable Disney mug, and head out the door.
I back out of my driveway in my small-town Indiana subdivision at the same time that every other minivan or SUV pulls out of the neighborhood. Every house is pretty much the same, with different color shutters, so we can pretend we are living authentic lives. I have my coffee in hand, radio set to the same station, and even though I know that the majority of my eight- minute ride will be commercials; it isn’t even worth the hassle to change the station. I check the clock, and still feel surprised (even though this is what time I leave every day) that I’m leaving at 7:10 and will be two minutes late to work.
I pull into the same spot, grab my crap, and run in the doors of my work with my hair still wet. Hopefully I have a hair tie and can just throw it into one of those stylish “messy buns”. As I try to play it off like I didn’t just walk in the door, I run into 2 of my 3 principals. Finally, I make it to my destination, and I actually have a cool co-worker who unlocked my classroom door where there are 10 8th grade boys slumped in their desks with music blasting through their earbuds.
I teach six sections of reading intervention to the lowest 8% of the school, which includes a mix of the most unmotivated and special education students. I usually feel defeated at the end of the day, so at 2:35 when the final bell rings, I just sit at my desk, scroll through Instagram, and hope no one will come into my classroom to tell me about the latest school gossip.
Night and day it’s Cinderelly
Make the fire!
Fix the breakfast!
Wash the dishes!
Do the mopping!
And the sweeping and the dusting!
They always keep me hopping!
She goes around in circles till she’s very, very dizzy
Still they holler, keep her busy Cinderelly!
At 3:05 I pack up my bag with my computer, books, and papers even though I know the bag won’t even make it out of the car this evening or any evening for that matter. I drive home and have 20 minutes to clean up last night’s disaster before I can get my daughter from preschool. My son has beat me home and has his after school snack remains scattered across the kitchen counter. My biggest accomplishment of the day is unloading the dishwasher, refilling it, and scraping the old syrup off of the counter before 3:50.
Next, I head to the preschool where my feisty four-year old wants to race me to the car, which is actually pretty cute. She is so excited to see me every day, until it is time to wrangle her into her car seat. It is a ten-minute drive home, but her violent jerking and screaming makes it feel like an eternity.
Finally, home. I just need to get a load of laundry going, dinner started, and the living room toys off of the floor. The only way to get this done is to throw my son on his X-box and toss the phone at my daughter. I tell myself that I will only let them on electronics for 30 minutes, but that is a lie.
My husband is about to walk in the door, so I distract my daughter with something in order to snatch the phone and pretend that she hasn’t been on it for over an hour. I tell him we are having spaghetti for dinner, and it will be done in five minutes, but he had a late lunch, so he isn’t hungry. I call my son up for dinner and make he and my daughter a plate. He doesn’t want any sauce, and my daughter picks at her plate.
We’re late, for a very important date!
No time to say hello/goodbye.
We have some kind of after school activity every night, doesn’t everyone? So I leave the spaghetti sauce to harden on the plates, and move on to the next event. Fortunately, we divide and conquer this part of the night. Tonight is an easy night. We only have two practices. Gymnastics is at 6:00. Basketball is at 6:30. The only problem is that it is 5:45 and I have no idea where my daughter’s gymnastics clothes are tossed, and she is screaming that she hates gymnastics. I race around the house looking for the leotard while she cries, and finally find it in still in the dirty clothes from last week. I throw her in the car, and the violent outbursts begin. Toss the phone at her because I can’t take it. It works. She is quiet, and I can sit in peace for the drive.
Finally, we are home for the night. I can take off my work clothes and relax. Just kidding. We still have to do baths and homework. More dividing and conquering.
I collapse in bed.
So, why the song lyrics? Each of the songs come from a story about a girl trying to figure her shit out. Nancy Botwin takes some serious risks maintain a certain lifestyle. Cinderella breaks free from her stepmom and meets Prince Charming, and Alice goes on the adventure of a lifetime. So as monotonous or predictable as my days are now, I know that the young girl who had dreams of being a news anchor, living in a big city, and traveling the world are still there. There are days when I am pushing through the piles of laundry or sitting at a practice wondering how did I become so average? I’m like every other mom. I go to work, clean the house, take care of my kids, and that can make one complacent. But, I’m going to enjoy the present, and wait until the time is right to take the risk to be extraordinary.