Ordered Lives

Well it’s midterm week in our neck of the woods.  Every day after I pick them up from school, my daughters begin studying for the next day.  One daughter goes to the basement and reads aloud until well after two in the morning.  The other one types frantically on her computer, trying to outline two quarters of work in an effort to remember all she has learned.  They’re stressed and grumpy beyond belief.

Squints decides this is the week he’ll cook: pad tai and Japanese fried chicken and wonton noodles stuffed and deep fried.
My husband’s been in London for a week.  He calls when he can, tries to diffuse the stress long distance; reassures the girls that they’ll do fine; everything will be fine; tells Squints he’s sorry he missed his dinner again.

The house is, naturally, a disaster.  In every room of the house are scattered papers and notebooks and highlighters and pens: psych notes; calc notes; trig notes; biology and history and government and English.  Soy sauce stains my kitchen curtains.  The whole house smells of cooking oil.
The house feels out of control.  I need to get things reigned back in.
I head to the dining room and wind the clock. 
There’s something reassuring about the sound of a clock hanging on a wall, quietly marking time as its family goes about its life, arranging a day among ticks and tocks.  A wound clock and a swinging pendulum help me to get organized again.
And so on this, the last day of exams, we sweep through the house, gathering up the detritus of our week; capping pens; shelving books; putting our lives back in order; reordering our house as the clock reorders our days into hours and minutes and seconds.
We order a pizza.  Put in a movie.  We toast the end of midterms; celebrating a successful week and an orderly home; the clock a subtle and persistent background accompaniment.
And sometime in the next fifteen minutes—at least if it’s on time—my husband’s plane will land. 
And our lives will be back into our familiar patterns of ticks and tocks and hours neatly divided.

Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Ordered Lives

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ordered Lives

Well it’s midterm week in our neck of the woods.  Every day after I pick them up from school, my daughters begin studying for the next day.  One daughter goes to the basement and reads aloud until well after two in the morning.  The other one types frantically on her computer, trying to outline two quarters of work in an effort to remember all she has learned.  They’re stressed and grumpy beyond belief.

Squints decides this is the week he’ll cook: pad tai and Japanese fried chicken and wonton noodles stuffed and deep fried.
My husband’s been in London for a week.  He calls when he can, tries to diffuse the stress long distance; reassures the girls that they’ll do fine; everything will be fine; tells Squints he’s sorry he missed his dinner again.

The house is, naturally, a disaster.  In every room of the house are scattered papers and notebooks and highlighters and pens: psych notes; calc notes; trig notes; biology and history and government and English.  Soy sauce stains my kitchen curtains.  The whole house smells of cooking oil.
The house feels out of control.  I need to get things reigned back in.
I head to the dining room and wind the clock. 
There’s something reassuring about the sound of a clock hanging on a wall, quietly marking time as its family goes about its life, arranging a day among ticks and tocks.  A wound clock and a swinging pendulum help me to get organized again.
And so on this, the last day of exams, we sweep through the house, gathering up the detritus of our week; capping pens; shelving books; putting our lives back in order; reordering our house as the clock reorders our days into hours and minutes and seconds.
We order a pizza.  Put in a movie.  We toast the end of midterms; celebrating a successful week and an orderly home; the clock a subtle and persistent background accompaniment.
And sometime in the next fifteen minutes—at least if it’s on time—my husband’s plane will land. 
And our lives will be back into our familiar patterns of ticks and tocks and hours neatly divided.

Labels: ,

2 Comments:

At January 14, 2012 at 3:27 AM , Anonymous Kelly Hashway said...

I'm glad the craziness is calming down and life is getting back to normal--or at least it will be. :)

 
At January 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM , Anonymous Bella said...

Kelly, the Son and I went through this madness during finals week back in December. I think I know how you feel. What a nightmare! Thank goodness your sense of calm is being restored and your husband will soon be home. That Squints! I want to adopt that kid! He can come live with me and I don't care if the house smells like cooking oil! hee hee! :)

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home