It’s my birthday. I am 48. I believe that means that now I can describe myself accurately as “pushing 50,” but it feels like with so many attractive and bad ass women out there (movie stars, politicians, sisters. . .) who have moved beyond 50, that phrase has sort of lost its teeth.
I meant to sleep in this morning. I love to sleep in. That was thwarted a bit by my noisy-morning daughters, but they were instantly forgiven because they gave me my first gift: the sight of them hugging and laughing together first thing in the morning. M had woken up early for the PSAT, and when J heard her bustling around, she assumed that her own alarm clock had failed and she was incredibly late for school. J started running around in what I think of as Anxious Storm Cloud Mode, which is rather noisy, yes, but also seems to distribute some sort of energy force field that can rouse me from bed immediately. As I was lunging for the door I heard what I thought were sobs, but it turns out that it was the two girls laughing together because M had just told J that today’s a Saturday. I shouted out some random test-taking advice (did you know I used to teach for Kaplan Test Prep?) and reported back to bed.
A better woman would be requesting a family hiking outing or some such active fun for her birthday, but we have been going flat out, so my ambitions are decidedly lower. I went to the Zumba class I’ve been missing due to our crazy sports schedule, took in A Star is Born with a friend, and now I am lazing about while everyone else is doing homework and yard work, looking forward to an evening that will likely include an episode of Anne with an E and eating some overpriced Thai food and our chocolate mousse together.
Yep, it’s been nuts. Last you heard we were working on that massive kitchen cabinet project. Then for the last week of September, Cute W was out of town for work. I was home, frantically trying to finish painting the cabinets and catch up on all the housework I’d been neglecting to work on the cabinets. Here’s about how things were looking shortly before he left town:
Downstairs in the basement playroom, drawers and cabinet doors were strewn about in various stages of painting, while up in the kitchen, all the cupboards were open and the table and chairs were covered in painting and kitchen necessities.
The whole effect was a functional kitchen, but it did not exactly inspire serenity.
On Friday of that week, Cute W arrived home and immediately set to work re-installing the cabinet doors while I turned the basement playroom into M’s temporary bedroom and we turned M’s bedroom into a guest room for Esther, our Spanish student who arrived late that night.
Here’s a little before-and-after comparison:
Before: chipped off-white cabinets and yellow-so-pale-it-looks off-white walls.
After: bright white cabinets with new hardware and decidedly blue walls.
It’s absolutely a more cheerful place to be. Yes, there are actually still paint touch ups and some hanging adjustments to be made, but overall we’re happy with it, and we were all super-relieved to get it back to a normally functioning kitchen in time for our visitor. And for the moment, Cute W and I are taking a breath for our own sanity.
More about Esther’s 11-day stay later, but it was about as hectic as experiencing a sightseeing vacation while also keeping up with your regular life at the same time. On the morning we put Esther and her classmates on a bus to New York City, M woke up looking about as sick as I’ve seen her in years, fever and all, and I think it was about 80 percent pure exhaustion. And that was only last Tuesday, so this is her weekend to recover, in theory, but instead she had to go take the PSATs, poor thing. No wonder we’re all ready to take it easy.