10 January 2012

To India with Love: Many Miles to Go Before I Sleep

The alarm goes off at 4:30 am. The bed is warm. The car will not be, but I must move it if I am going to make the 5:00 spin class and take the dog out. I have been dreaming of India. In my dream I was in a kitchen photographing beautiful orange dough made from lentils. I decide the dog can wait. I want to be back in India with all its beauty and color. I try to fall back to sleep. 

I lie awake and decide it's time to get up. The house is quiet. The Mister has pulled yet another all-nighter working on a really big project. The dog is antsy. I make a cup of french press coffee and sip on it whilst I read and pray. Pray and read. I fall asleep in my cozy chair. It feels decadent to sneak in a little cat nap before the pitter patter of not so little feet wake me and remind me that school, SCHOOL! starts in one hour. 

He finds me in my chair.

By 9:00 the Mister has been kissed and packed up for his drive to work. Family devotions read. Missionaries prayed for-"what is human trafficking?" Dog has been told about 100 times to "stop" , "come" , "sit". Breakfast is cleared. Chores begin. It's laundry day. And the 8 year old must handle all of the recycling.

It's about damn time when at 10, the memory work begins with the 8 year old and 5 year old dancing a gig about the 14th amendment(which by the way led the way for the civil rights movement). We are in the throes of the story of Ruby Bridges when there is a loud knock on the door. The furnace repairman is here. For the 5th time. He finally fixes the problem. We hope.

Potato chips and Ruby Bridges

The 12 year old wants to make potato chips. I stall. "Let's talk about atomic numbers first." The thought of talking chemistry quells his culinary enthusiasm for another 30 minutes.

The older two boys are set up with math whilst the two other boys join me on a dog walk that takes us to the post office. 

Still in his jammies because he has no clean clothes.

Upon our return, we find that the 2 older boys are done with math and practicing their music lessons. The amplifier is way, way loud and the keyboard sounds like we have entered a haunted house. 

The mandolin blade is assembled so that the latest food conquest can be made: potato chips. Huge success and so easy and fun. The boys plan to make french fries for dinner.

We go over math lessons, bring in the 2 younger boys who have been reading, writing and dance fighting with the dog.

Watercolor painting leads to oil pastel painting which leads to an abstract art discussion inspired by Grandma Moses? The 8 year old chooses a paper plate as his canvas. He paints 2 asking me which one is my favorite. The 5 year old paints his face.

Lunch is leftover naan repurposed into mini pizzas. One boy thinks it's okay. Two hate it, and one helps himself to seconds.

The dog is restless. The 12 year old takes him out to play. The 10 year old tells me what happened in his chapter about Stephen, the First Martyr. An interesting twist I had never heard. 

The phone rings with a call from another repairman who is at our rental house-800 miles away. We have issues with the plumbing. 

The two who didn't like lunch decide to make smoothies. I do not let them add chocolate chips. They decide the smoothies don't taste as good without the chocolate chips.

The two little ones find tracing paper and some books to inspire them. I take the 2 older boys in for grammar. We diagram sentences and begin writing combined outlines for the paragraph on the Declaration of Independence. The 10 year keeps asking what time it is. His friends get off the bus at 4. It is 3.58. He somehow manages to finish his work in 2 minutes! The 12 year old continues to work through the enormous load of laundry, bringing up loads for me to fold. 

I have 1 hour to write before dinner needs tending. The phone rings. It's an exciting writing proposition. I accept the offer to help write a chapter in a book on transforming communities. I go back to writing. My head is spinning. The quiet house gets louder with the addition of another boy, a neighbor. 

The 12 year old comes in with another load of laundry and a mission to make french fries. I make a quick phone call to a sweet friend whilst folding clothes and readying for a trip to the gym.

The kitchen smells divine with the makings of dinner. My heart is glad to see my oldest taking charge with the cutting board and knife, fashioning those potatoes into little wedge pieces of art. 

I dash out the door and make it to my class whilst the Mister drives up the mountain to feed the monkeys. 

Upon arriving home, I see that a small plate of food has been left and I pour myself a glass of wine. A well deserved, well enjoyed glass of petite shiraz. I hear the Mister reading aloud to our little men. First from Across Five Aprils, then Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I sit to write and realize:  I never read to the 5 year old, the 12 year old didn't get to his reading, we never practiced our Bible memory work. There is always tomorrow. It is only Monday after all. Little faces appear for kisses goodnight. "No you may not have your computer in your room." The house is silent. The dog snores as he sleeps on his back. I write. Then I feel the fatigue hit. Maybe tonight I will again dream of India. 

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