I am going to work in three hours. It's 9:17 PM. You do the math. But somebody offered me good money to go to work at midnight, and far be it from me to shun the almighty dollar. I should be sleeping right now. But I have been trying to put the kids in bed and they think I am nuts for insisting that Everyone Go To Bed Early two nights in a row.
But that's how it is with teenagers. They all have opinions. They think they know stuff. Like when is a good time to go to bed. And they all want to hang out and watch TV shows with me. When clearly it is MY time to be by myself with my TV shows. When did they stop being 8 years old with early bedtimes and no viable opinions? And when did I start buying cars and iPhones and grown-up things for MY KIDS? Something is terribly wrong with this picture. How can a person who can't grow up possibly raise grown up children? It just doesn't work. Already I am playing out in my head the scenarios where I take my kids out to dinner, like my parents take me out, and they insist on paying. But here I am thinking - wow - now that their 18 I don't have to pay any more, right? Wrong. You never stop being a parent. Not ever. No matter how old and/or irresponsible your children get. My parents could speak to that one.
As one would expect, in a household of girls, and mostly teenagers, a day rarely goes by that isn't fraught with emotional turmoil and several crises of massive proportions, like a misplaced aqua flat, or someone having someone else's favorite shirt in their drawer, or somebody listening to headphones Way Too Loud. And always, of course, Doing It On Purpose.
A few weeks ago, on a particularly emotionally charged day, which may or may not have been a day when I Sincerely Wanted To Put My Children Up For Adoption, my sister went somewhere fun without me, maybe a thrift store or a yard sale, I am not sure, and she found a couple of adorable vintage tablecloths. Knowing that I was having a bad day, and knowing that she possessed one of the Only Known Cures for a bad day (i.e a vintage table cloth), she delivered it to my house post haste.
The thing about a vintage table cloth is that when you put it on a table, no matter how battered or ugly or even dirty the table is, suddenly All Is Right in the world around that table. There is happiness and joy and order. People smile. Because how can you not smile around a vintage table cloth? Maybe it's because it represents a better time, when priorities had to do with things bigger than missing shoes and noisy earbuds. Maybe it's because it ties us back to growing up and all of the people we love and the values that we adhere to. Maybe it's because all of the merry color overpowers the gloom of selfish fits and petty arguments. Or maybe it's just that it functions like a bandaid to cover the ugliness of day to day junk.
I could use a bandaid today. To cover a whole lot of fail. As a mom, as a person - a bright little tablecloth might have helped. Except it's lost. Somehow it got put away somewhere Very Safe, where no one will probably ever find it again. No bandaids for me. Just have to go on with all of my ugly showing. I guess that's why they make wine. So at least I won't notice so much. And dogs, who love you unconditionally, even when you are a jerk. Teenagers tend to tell you when you're being a jerk. And apparently I am being a jerk a lot of the time, because they tell me so. But not the dogs. Or the wine. They both treat me with unconditional devotion and care. Until I find the tablecloth, I guess that will have to do.