If you had to name the one thing that your kids do that makes you most likely to want to rip your own face off, what would it be? For me, it’s the daily morning whine for juice. And I have never once denied these people juice! Why fuss when there is no history of deprivation? I really, truly, deeply-in-my-bones despise juice.
(Or maybe it’s the whining. Maybe the whining about juice. I was never big on juice and now I don’t even like the word “juice” anymore. It’s just all of it. Mystery solved.)
My sister and I do a get-away every spring, just the two of us. It’s our Mother's Day gift to ourselves. No one makes me laugh as much as she does. Especially at stuff no one else understands or thinks is funny. The laughing often happens in places where hysterical laughter is either relatively uncommon (Home Depot) or entirely frowned-upon (a wake). But we’re never embarrassed which I think makes us completely normal. Or not. Who really knows. (And let it be known that we’ve never actually lost our composure at a wake, just always share the lurking potential of laughing inappropriately. That being said, we probably shouldn’t go to wakes together. Which is difficult to avoid when you’re in the same family...)
Anyway, every May, we rent a beach cottage for a weekend together and this is our favorite place—this beach, this town, this cottage.
Every year, we each bring along heavily stuffed bags of lofty goals. And yoga mats. (We’ve never once unrolled them.) It seems that 48 hours away from our little guys simply cannot be squandered and must be utilized fully. Those 48 hours swell in my mind as I imagine the multitude of tasks I will be able to accomplish in all that free time.
To realize the unimportance of time is the gate to wisdom. Bertrand Russell
But then the sun is always shining and the sky so blue and the ocean calls, the sand fine under our feet.
We relished the quiet and the freedom and got nothing done but some pleasure reading and (of course) a nearly endless stream of uninterrupted conversation. Thai food and several movies from start to finish. Many long walks on the beach. This year we made a list of home improvements she wants to tackle at her house, then we went to Home Depot to find some pretty paint chips.
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Marthe Troly-Curtin
It was so delightfully indulgent to watch the time pass slowly and amply. Especially since I usually think of time as my nemesis. A thing of which there is never enough, that passes much too quickly, that gets devoured by the demands of home and children. And this is my biggest problem with the shape of time: it constantly evades me.
It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one. George Harrison
But I know that all we can do is keep on with the business of life and the work of our hearts and make friends with the idea of time—even we never figure it all out.
As happens every year, the sisters’ weekend was over too soon. Inevitably, the following weekend as we washed clothes, made snacks and got back to business each in our own homes, one of us texted the other (we were too busy to make a phone call), “Wish I were doing this weekend what I was doing last weekend!”
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
But we know our work is good and grounding and important. Work of the heart. It was another wonderful sisters’ weekend and now my sister and I possess more lovely shared memories. And she never once asked me for juice and she was really well-behaved in Home Depot. (At least as far as I’m concerned which most likely shouldn’t be trusted. Either way, she did not ask me for juice. Which is real love.)
There is no one with whom I’d rather waste time. I consider myself very lucky to have someone with whom time spent is never wasted.