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And it was Sunday, which starts out gloriously as a weekend day, but ends up as a lowly school night. I find there is something particularly sad about this slide from frivolity into practicality. Even if there are chores to be done, errands to be run, a Sunday morning off work is usually full of promise, with the whole day spread out before me like a fresh sheet of paper waiting to be filled with random doodles and, occasionally, a spark of genius.
Today there was early coffee and the Sunday papers(best papers of the week): The Sunday New York Times, and, also,the local Arizona Republic, which can be read in its entirety in under an hour, but carries the store ads and, especially, the coupons. I feel we got a good Sunday Republic if the total value of the coupons I clipped exceeds the cost of the paper. By that humble standard, today was a winner. The Times is always a winner, just because of the sheer luxury of getting a magazine inside the paper-- and every few weeks, two. Another way today gets into the win column: The "T" style magazine arrived, and even Delia enjoyed it. She's at that age, with one foot firmly in childhood, and the other drifting into the girly world of shoes and clothes and jewelry. She spent as much time poring over the high end retail ads as she did looking at the Walmart Toy Guide which arrived in today's Republic. It wasn't the real toy guide, the thick one that usually comes the weekend before Thanksgiving, but it was a good 16 to 20 pages of Holiday toy preview. A bracing reminder that Halloween has officially passed and we have entered into the official shopping period.
After the languid early paper-reading period, the day seems to speed up somehow, and before you know it, it's lunch time. I make the first vague, sweeping announcement that there better be some homework done so that we don't get down to the wire on Thursday night at nine o'clock trying to complete worksheets and computer lessons. But then, I'm still reading the paper, and thinking about how I can sprinkle the chores and errands I'd planned for today throughout the week so that I can hang on to the weekend and maybe fit in a nap. Then it's suddenly three o'clock. My homework reminder gets a little more strident, but remains unheeded, until I decide to start dinner around five, trying to clear some of the debris of the day on my way to the kitchen. It's a big enough apartment, but somehow, the clutter piles up on days off, so that there are little projects in every room. Then I hear, "I can't pick up now, I have to do my homework. You tollllddd me I had to start it today, so I am. And anyway, she was the one who left that there."
The whining has begun, right on cue-- that's how we know it is officially a school night: there is whining at dinner time and a trillion requests for assistance with bathing and reading and vocabulary and fractions-- all while I am trying to chop or brown or mix something. Yep, the weekend is over. Tomorrow will only be that much harder if the groundwork for the morning isn't laid tonight, so you have to go with it, be a responsible adult and supervise and assist and pick up-- because, seriously, no one will admit to having left the markers on your bedroom floor and the scissors and construction paper in the living room. And no one will admit to setting up a picnic, complete with dishes and play food, for four favorite dollies and ten of their closest stuffed and furry friends, under the dinner table. "I don't care who did it," I whine right back, "Just pick it up before dinner, or don't be surprised to find your toys in the trash." Yeah, I'm that mom, the one who consistently threatens to just lose it and throw everything away. There is a scramble, and most of it gets picked up, but I still find myself reaching for a toy croissant and bunch of plastic grapes when I clear the table after dinner.
See what I mean about Sundays? Some time between three and five, when you're not really looking-- because maybe you did go out and do those errands, or you finally dozed off there on the couch for a few minutes, or you watched a movie you've seen a hundred and eight times but always get sucked in by when you stumble across it-- some time in the late afternoon, the weekend is over and you're plunged back into the demands of the working week. It's like looking around at a party and realizing someone you wanted to say good-bye to has already left. You missed your chance, and so, even if it was a great party and you had an awesome time, it got stepped on a little, just there at the end. That's the sadness of a Sunday afternoon.