My mind is numb. It is thoughtless and bored and happy and nothing. There is emptiness in my mind and I love it. The semester is done and my tired brain will have two weeks to "rest" before the summer term begins. Nothing is going to ruin those two weeks. They're mine and they're filled with everything non-school and they're wonderful.
The week days start out early. There's exercise in the morning, packing of lunches, baby yawns, and dragon breath. Some days, if Sara has to work, I greet the nanny. She is always eager to hug my babies and that makes me smile. These two weeks I head to work relaxed. I love my career and these two weeks I know I will leave work with nothing else to do but love on my family. I feel calm. My mind isn't crowded now, and I remember the things it use to have space for like enjoying the scent of the coffee that sneaks its way out of my to-go cup and teases my nose.
I don't have to do homework during my lunch hour over the course of the next two weeks. I can eat and take a walk. I can chat with my friends or embrace forty-five minutes of solace. I. Don't. Care. I have nothing to do but not think. I sing more than usual at my desk during these two weeks and I'm not sure if it annoys my co-workers. I'm not sure that I even care if it does. I have room in my noggin for more songs than usual and intend to take full advantage of it. There will be melodies from Elbow and Daughter and tunes from Cake and Yellow Ostrich. I might dance while I sing, but it would be nothing more than an office chair jig.
At quarter after four my work day winds down. The weather is nice this time of year and I'm not lugging around any school books. It is only my lunch sack and purse and phone and keys that meander to the parking lot with me. I feel light. Out of principle, over the next two weeks, I won't carry a single book. Not even for leisure. It would remind me too much of school. I'll have none of that. It would be bad for my psyche.
When I arrive home, it's to happy kids. They're playing outside or inside. If it's a nanny day, I get the skinny on the day's events as she packs up her things to go. The kids, Graisyn mostly, don't want her to leave and I try to soften that blow with the promise of more outside time or a show or some snuggles. She's a new nanny and I'm already becoming second best in the eyes of my babies. I think that would bother most people, but not me. I would much rather have them elated by their caretaker than crying every time I leave the house.
So the kids and the dogs and Sara (if she's home) and I go for a walk. It's a short loop, maybe half a mile, but it's the most brilliant loop that I've ever walked and it reminds me how much I love our neighborhood. We leave the house, each dog leashed, Kaz in the stroller, and the rest of us on foot. We take a left. Sometimes, to change it up a bit, we take a right. Going in reverse is cool, but only if it's spontaneous and infrequent. My mind is blank with occasional thoughts of "how much I love my kids" or "what to have for dinner" or "how nice I have it" passing through.
We take a right at the end of our block and mosey down the street and over the bridge. This bridge looks over the park and, beyond the park, the river. The view is magnificent and it puts into perspective the grander things in life. A little further down and we hang another right. If you recall, it's a loop. All of our turns are right except the first one or if we had gone in reverse. This right takes us down a big hill, the kind you would shift a car to neutral and coast down if you were driving. This hill leads us to the base of the park and the river. My babies are in love with the park. I am in love with the river. There are pelicans on the river and geese and ducks. The pelicans are my favorite. I am in awe at how majestic they are.
Down past the river and the park we hang another right. We had just descended down a hill of healthy stature, so an upward hike is in our midst. We embrace it. Knowing that Grai's legs tire quickly on this hill, I challenge her to a race. Whoever gets to the top first wins. She smokes me every time and stands at the top panting while waiting for me to catch up. I finally reach the top and we continue on down the street until we turn right once more. Home. My mind is smiling. I'm smiling. I'm fully enjoying every ounce of my family and my surroundings and it is all uninterrupted.
Upon our return home, there is dinner to be had. We nibble on good things at our house, but if we feel lazy we might just have cereal. After dinner, it may be a bath night for the kiddos or Grai would select a thirty minute show of choice. Kaz is usually pretty restless by now so he is changed, bottled, snuggled, and tucked in. He loves his bed and wants nothing to do with being rocked for even a second after his bottle is complete. I don't like it, but I respect it. In to bed he goes just in time for Grai's show to be done and for it to be her turn for bed.
I hear her trudge up the stairs. She's tired from the day, but she won't admit it. We scrub her teeth, grab some books, and pile into her bed. Once stories are complete, we relish in a few minutes of cuddle time and talk about our favorite parts of the day. I get the same response from Grai each time I ask her what she liked best about the day. "Coloring," she tells me. I think she's sick of the question or she really does love to color that much. We leave her room with hugs and kisses and "lights out when the big hand of the clock is on the 9" or 10 or whatever fifteen minutes looks like that night.
Usually, once the kids are in bed, I would hit the books, but not in these two weeks. In these two weeks I find my wife again or I find her more than normal. For those of you that can't read between the lines, I am definitely talking about our sex life. It is pretty healthy most of the time, but amplified when school isn't blocking everything fun and romantic. I love it. It is gratifying and refreshing and beautiful. With Sara, in these two weeks, I can rot my mind with television or play a game or sit next to her as I write a blog. It is heaven and my mind is free.
I will enjoy every iota of my time away from school. I will not take it for granted. I will remember during the course of the next two weeks that there is so much more to life than school and that it is all sitting right in front of me. My mind is simple right now, filled with nothing but the sweetness of summer, happy children and puppies, and a beautiful wife. I sigh and the stress from semesters past melt away. Tonight's toast is to an empty head. Cheers.