Thursday, January 18, 2007

But Now's the Time to Look and Look Again at What You See

There are a lot of very difficult things about being a single parent, and I'm sure I've documented enough of them for me to be able to officially change the name of my blog to, "I'm a Single Mom: Wah-Fucking-Wah" if I so chose. Tonight, in a surprise move, I'm actually going to go the other way and relate something very rich and satisfying about being the sole, head of my household. I absolutely love tucking in my home for the night. The ritual is not only comforting, but it also makes me feel able and confident.

First, I check both doors to make sure they're locked. After we're all safe and secure, I turn down the thermostat. It's not just to save money, we all seem to sleep better at a cooler temperature. Next, I put whatever was in the washer (because there's almost always something) into the dryer and get it going.

Once I've brushed, washed, and changed, (not necessarily in that order) I do my equivalent of counting my chicks. One, two. One, two. I enter each girl's room and rearrange blankets so that my girls are sufficiently covered, turn off any radios and look for hidden flashlights used for covert, late night book reading - just to make sure nobody rolls over onto them in their sleep. At that point, I am free to indulge in my nighttime child gazing which I still do even though they are in their teens. Actually, it's probably more necessary now that I don't get to see them as much in general, let alone when they are quiet and peaceful and not talking to or about their friends.

At last, when the girls are as comfortable and safe as I can make them, I get to go to sleep. I pull out the futon couch and let myself get lulled to sleep by the hum of the dryer. I'm usually so exhausted at that point, that the sporadic clinking and clanking of buttons against metal doesn't even prevent me from drifting off.

17 comments:

Bice said...

That was neat. Sharing your night time ritual with us. Very cool. It is fun to gaze at the children when they are at their most angelic.

Les said...

"Late night covert reading by flashlight" I like that one.

Remiman said...

Churlita,
You'll ruin your image if you keep talking like that. lol ;-)

When you've created something good, it's rewarding to admire it once in awhile.
rel

The Retropolitan said...

Someone used to gaze at me at night like that.

It was last year. Eventually I had to have them arrested.

booda baby said...

I don't know how you do it, but this was so beautiful - the topic, yes, but the writing even more.

Churlita said...

Bice,

Thanks. Yeah, it almost makes you forget how they can be when they're awake.

Les,

I used to covertly read books at night too when I was younger, so I pretend I don't see it.

Rel,

I know. I'll have to write something more crusty and full of swears for my next entry.

The Retropolitan,

I'm glad you got that messiness taken care of. Was it your mom?

Booda Baby,

Thank you so much. You are always so kind.

broinlaw said...

I figured parents might grow out of that latenight staring thing...
Hell, sometimes I turn on the lights just to get a better look.

T.

p.s. Your sister's son farted right in my face last night. Who taught him that trick ?!?

Slimbolala said...

I don't know. "I'm a Single Mom: Wah-Fucking-Wah" is pretty good. Maybe you could just kind of switch it in as an interim-title once in a while to keep everyone on their toes.

Churlita said...

Bro in-law,

So, this son of my sister's is no relation to you? I might suggest, perhaps he has been under the bad infulence of some older girl cousins. I seem to remember similar actions by someone who shall remain Stinky.

Slimbolala,

Some days that title works better than others. Maybe I should start renaming my blog every once in a while - to keep it more accurate.

Egan said...

This is a great topic. I definitely have a ritual before bed and right when I wake up.

Being single isn't all bad and I'm glad you pointed that out. Society puts a lot of pressure on folks to be married or partnered up. It's not for everyone and therefore nobody should feel obligated to marry. (/rant) Have a good weekend.

Churlita said...

Egan,

I have less of a morning ritual because I am so not a morning person and usually I'm lucky that I don't get lost on my way to work.

I get a lot of shit from people for not settling just to be in a relationship. Lucky for me, I'm obstinate.

fringes said...

Maybe one day my kids will sleep in their own beds. One can dream.

Thanks for sharing. I felt warm and fizzy.

Margaret said...

aww, i love life's rituals

Egan said...

Stick to your guns woman! If being single works for you, then screw the naysayers. Have a good weekend.

Churlita said...

Fringes,

If my kids can finally sleep in their own beds, than anyone's will. I figured Coadster would have to commute from my house to college because I was sure she'd never grow out of it. I think she was almost 11 when she stopped sleeping with me on a regular basis.

Margaret,

Do you and E. have a nighttime ritual?

Egan,

Yeah. It'd be great to meet someone I could spend the rest of my life with, but I'm not willing to settle or work at it, apparently.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I am right with you on that one. People say to me "oh, it must be so hard to be a single mom" and you know what, when I am sick and they are sick and there are fluids all over the house, it is hard. But the rest of the time,I am in charge, when they are with me, they depend on me and I know I can handle it. Plus, eliminate the kind of marriage I had and the man I was with and life is MUCH easier and better. I love shutting the door and knowing it is just "us".

Churlita said...

Amen to that. We must be kindred.