Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I wanted to write, but . . .

by Merry Gordon

I usually have a golden hour on Mondays that I set aside for myself to read, to write, to indulge in a bubble bath . . . whatever strikes my fancy.  Unfortunately, more often than not disaster strikes long before my fancy gets a fair hit.  Here’s a tour of yesterday’s golden hour.  Maybe you can relate?

5:18 PM

I want to write. 

But I should probably make my oldest daughter practice piano first. 

She begins pounding out the suite from Downton Abbey on our 108-year-old upright, a violent musical melodrama that rattles its keys down to the pin block and my teeth down to the sockets.
I slip into the kitchen and begin popping Advil like Pez.  It’s going to be a long evening.

5:27 PM

I want to write.

But I should probably check my youngest daughter’s homework first. 

Turns out she’s out of books to read for her reading log.  We’re moving in two weeks; we’ve packed almost everything, with the exception of my antique volumes.  By the time I get to her, she’s thumbing her sticky fingered way through my 1753 edition of Restoration dramas. 

“Mommy, why do all the s’s look like f’s?”

She’s just about to use a rare religious tract as a coaster.  A minor heart attack ensues, and within moments my darlings (both darlings—those decked in leather and vellum, and those decked in Hello Kitty) are restored to their rightful places. 

This victory warrants a handful of chocolate chips.

5:35 PM

I want to write. 

But I should probably make sure my son’s finished his snack first. 

He has dubbed today “No Pants Monday.”  He sits on the couch in his underpants with a smug grin and the remnants of his snack.  I say ‘remnants’ because he has long since crushed each Cheerio into a fine beige mist that swirls through the sunlit gaps in our blinds like its own little honey nut weather system.   I could toss him in his room and risk a meltdown, or I could grab the dustbin and be grateful we had the foresight to buy flooring in exactly the same color as most breakfast cereals. 

I settle on the latter.

5:43 PM

I want to write.

But I should probably work out first.  

I think guiltily back to the handful of chocolate chips and do a crunch and a half-hearted squat (which I can’t really count because I’m actually just picking up the kids’ piano books from the floor).  I bookmark a workout video on Youtube and vow to do better tomorrow.

5:45 PM

I want to write.

But I should probably make dinner first.

I start scrolling through Pinterest, determined to find a delectable and healthy recipe for my family like the good Mormon Mommy I am.  The gluten-free vegan eggplant lasagna looks good . . . ooh, wait, is that a Halloween nail tutorial?

6:09 PM

I want to write.

But my husband’s pulling in the driveway.  The garage door opens.  I throw a tray of tater tots in the oven, close out my Pinterest feed (I’ve gone from nail art to cat memes to how to pair patterned tights with flats), and pretend I’ve been answering work emails for the past 20 minutes.

“Hello, love, how was your day?”

I just smile weakly.

6:18 PM

I wanted to write. 

My golden hour’s run out, turned to dusk and bath time and a flurry of lunches to pack for the morning. 

I wanted to write, and I didn’t.

But my oldest daughter’s ready for her piano recital, and youngest daughter learned the meaning of the word ‘cudgel’ before I found her some more grade-appropriate reading material. My son’s chubby thighs are peeking out from his Spider Man undies, and he even helped me sweep up the Cheerio particles.  My own thighs are no smaller today, and it’s tater tots and burgers for dinner, but I did pin a great tutorial on how to stock a small pantry. 

This is just how it goes sometimes.  In the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” 

And at the end of the day, I can live with that.


  1. I love this. So true, so beautifully written. :-) Well done.

    1. Haha, just keeping it real, right?

  2. So true! I can related! I love "no-pants Monday." I might try that around here. :-)



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