Thankful Thursday this week (actually on a Thursday for a change, how do you like that?) is brought to you by my children, whose patience in the midst of my recently heavy workload earned them a night of carrying on, singing at the top of their lungs, bathroom words aplenty, and no-holds barred Mexican train dominos.
Let me explain.
I had a boatload of deadline driven work this week for which I am very thankful, of course. The work, however, put me in a tough spot as a parent. There’s nothing I like less than my children having to look at the back my head all day, while the front of it is glued to the computer screen. Not that the back of my head isn’t attractive (I’ve never looked), but it just doesn’t wear that expression of love and interest of its feature-filled counterpart on the front, except maybe on a bad hair day that’s particularly bad.
The kicker is that when the work ship pulls in to port, it tends to be at the least convenient times, like during the children’s summer break, in the week of a thousand appointments, or during the two-week vacation that’s pre-paid and has been planned for months (my poor friend Andie finds herself in that predicament; I hope there’s WiFi in the Outer Banks). What I’ve learned is that, despite my strange bent toward skipping all meals, eschewing all social contact, and locking myself into an attention-sucking techno-marathon to get all the work done, I need to “break it up” as it were, with kid-oriented activities (like bowling!), stress-relieving errands (like a walk to the bank!), and even a couple of personal diversions that really are fun for the whole family (fresh baked brownies, bring it on home!!!).
I’m thankful that yesterday all the plates stayed beautifully in the air. I worked. We went to tennis. I showered. We visited the grandparents. I had lunch with a friend. I worked. The kids returned with the grandparents. I finished work and actually ate dinner. I worked a little bit more. Then I pulled out the dominos.
My husband was out, so sadly he missed the most raucous domino game of all time. There was so much hooting, tooting, burping, wailing, singing, and hand-drumming, that at one point I had to sing out a la The Supremes, “Whenever you’re ne-ar, I hear a SYM-phony…burp, zweep, honk, fart!” at which point Jake’s lemonade went somewhere seriously up his nose. This opened us up into several molto fortissimo renditions of “Eye of the Tiger,” that cheesy ’80’s rock anthem to which my children know all the words, thanks to a little game called Rock Band.
Never before have my children had the unbridled opportunity to vent their nervous energy by belting out whatever popped into their heads. They stood on chairs, danced like Chuck Berry, made faces, sang, screamed, cheered, and dispelled that toxic pent-up pressure that surely would have landed them in trouble at any other time.
I’m glad, because in the rock, paper, scissors of family life, noise may not always be appropriate, but lemonade up the nose wins every single time.