A little Break

Jake starts back to work tomorrow. I think this break has been just right. It didn't fly by, nor did it drag on. During the first few days, I was afraid four weeks would feel like four years. I'd gone three months without seeing much of Jake, and then BAM! We're around one another 24-7. I couldn't wait for the break to get here, but going from doing everything solo someone around all the time takes some acclimating.

On Friday, Jake started buzzing about with the new semester. He's always taught a course called Music and the Human Experience, but this semester he'll be tacking a section of Keyboard Literature, and that required some extra preparation. I'm really looking forward to his schedule (most of it) this semester as he's not doing any shows.

M: 8-5
T: 8-6
W: 8-5; 5:45-8
Th: 8-6
F: 8-5
Su: 8:45-12

Did you see that? No 8-11:30! No Saturdays (yet!)! No Sunday rehearsals. It's almost like a normal person work schedule. I'm certain his nights and weekends will fill in with recitals and rehearsals, but right now it looks like that. I might really enjoy making meals for a family that will all be together to eat them again.

This break has also been productive. We got a new sewer line (though we still have a trench in our backyard), and I submitted an application with the Historical Preservation folks for a certificate of appropriateness for some things around Dot. I actually started and finished a book. That really just occupied parts of two days, but I did it. When I hadn't been married for quite a year, I was "spotlighted" at a Relief Society Meeting, and asked to bring a few things that describe me. I think I brought two things. One, I can't remember, and the other was a basket full of books, all of which I was sporadically reading at the same time - most of which I didn't finish.

I went to two readings and heard several great things. I wrote a little. On that note - One day, I went to the Downtown library to write. I went into one of the private study rooms, after reserving it, and set up camp on the floor, 1. I like writing on the floor better than sitting in a chair; 2. I could people watch.

I'd been in there for about an hour and was in the middle of researching what Oklahoma City was like during the Dustbowl when a librarian came in and asked if I was okay, and when I said that I was, she said she really couldn't have me sitting on the floor there or anywhere else in the library.


I promptly collected my things and left (yes, I kicked myself out of the public library), but not before asking at the main circulation desk if that was a real rule. It is in a round-about way. That library branch serves a large homeless population, and the circulation desk librarians (there were 4 or 5 gathered when I asked) said that the library is often treated like a hotel, so they discourage laying on the floor. And in my case, being on the floor at all. I made sure that there were exceptions, like children being on the floor in the Children's area and parents being on the floor with their children in the children's area. Hmm, perhaps I should research and write on the floor of the children's area.

I didn't mean to be, but I was frustrated. I've never been told that I can't sit anywhere before (besides on the arm of a couch or something random like that). And I want to know where that peace-keeping librarian was during the times I've had to walk passed people looking at porn on the library computers. I completely get that they have to find a middle ground that helps make serving all patrons possible. I don't even want to make a big deal out of it because I LOVE the library and the librarians. My little family and I frequent the library, it's one of our favorite places in OKC. I think part of my frustration is that I feel like it's third or fourth home for us, so being caught up in such an absurd "rule" threw me for a loop.

I think that tangent is over now. What I meant to say: It was nice having some days where I didn't have to be "on" 100% of the time as a caregiver and could do some things to fill my reservoirs (yes, MB, I'm thinking of you as I write this), as well as the chance to spend some one-on-one time with Jake.

It was productive for Jake, too. He found out that one of his papers is being published, and he's also reworking another paper that he'll likely submit for publication in the next few months. I think it's fun when he has time to work on researching and writing because his schedule during the semester doesn't allow time for it. He's very much a performer, and he's also very much an academic, so it's nice when his time is more balanced and he can do both. On the same token, it's nice when our life is more balanced, and I can take care of all that I need to, while still sneaking in some of the things I don't get to when I'm mostly flying solo as a parent.

And lastly, some Magnolia-isms:

While sitting at the dinner table
[I'd just picked up some rice milk, and she wanted to try some]
M: Is this the good milk or the bad milk?
B: It's the rice milk.
M: It tastes terrible.
[before anyone could respond because we're laughing a little]
M: I tooted.
[at this point, everyone at the table has completely lost it]

Jake took Magnolia to the park with Alice one morning. He asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her response, "A mom."

This made my heart so happy when Jake told me. It's no secret that being a mother to young children is pretty much the most thankless job on the planet. But, you see, I'm the mom in her life that she's looking up to. She wants to grow up to be like me! It reminds me of a quote I love, and makes me want to do more to revel in this sweet [difficult, wonderful, frustrating, crazy, humbling, etc.] time I have my young children.
"They all add up to beauty -- your little touches, moments of eye contact, stories read, cookies baked, laundry folded, legos picked up (again). Your presence means security. You are the sun -- the center of their world. A lot of responsibility, I know -- but a warm place to be."


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