First it was the headache. The kind with teeth. One of those jaw-clenchers that feels like a snake curled around your brain. I woke up, closed my eyes, opened them again and hauled myself out of bed. No matter how many times I blinked, Chinua was not here. He was in England, my Bonny lying over the ocean, playing the banjo.
Later I washed the clothes. (I'm washing our clothes by hand right now, to save money, since we don't have a washer and sending it out is Pricey with a Capital P. I realize how that sounds, but it's really not that bad when you use the soak overnight method. I mean, our clothes get sorta clean-ish.) I washed the clothes from the night before, but when I went to the roof to hang them, there wasn't any space on the line, and there weren't any clothespins either. Someone had got there first and had followed their inner urge to spread out.
I threw the clothes over the line in the spaces and hoped for no wind. (Of course wind came, but they flew like flags and managed to cling to the line with their little clothing fibers.)
Then school, of course. Teaching my kids is amazing and I love it. The only thing I don't love to do is magically entertain a two-year-old with my other self at the same time. And magically keep the two-year-old from shrieking and annoying the people on every floor in this apartment building.
But we got through a lot of schoolwork. We sang geography songs and learned about Eurasomething something molecules and proteins or something. (Just kidding, but really, Chinua's the science guy.) The kids worked on the books they are writing.
(We worry about spelling at the editing stage. I know only too well that you have to keep the editor our of the creative space.)
So then I went to make noodle egg-drop soup for lunch, something easy because my head felt like it was still being shot at by a nerf gun at close range. Getting better, but not quite there. I dropped the eggs in one by one when the soup was ready, and then! Oh Fun! I cracked the last one open and right before it hit the water I realized that it was very, very rotten.
The room filled with the loveliest aroma of soup and rotten eggs, the kids left the room shrieking, except for Kid A, who had collapsed on the floor with his hands over his face.
I had to start over. Too bad I couldn't start my head over.
Anyways, it was a clue to take it easy. To lie on the floor for a while, to curl in a ball while Solo falls on me. To appreciate, to be together, to be softer with everyone, with myself.
We read together and made popcorn and watched a movie. I made a simple dinner and the day got better.