I walk briskly, pushing the double stroller, hoping to burn off the half-a-package of Oreos I ate instead of dinner. The sugar gives me quick energy, but ultimately lets me down. At least the babies have stopped screaming. From five to seven, nobody’s happy. I walk by the neighborhood school and try to imagine my babies as boys, going to school. Five more years. In five years, I think, I will have a life. I’ll spend more time on my writing, organize my closet, and clean out the garage. I’ll stop eating Oreos for dinner and get more exercise. I’ll have lunch with friends. Surely in five years I’ll have a friend? In five years, I’ll have time for me. It will be my turn.
I navigate baby b.’s stroller down the sidewalk and chat with the noisy boys as we walk to school. “Is today gym?” Twin B. asks.
Twin A. answers authoritatively, “No. Today is ORANGE day. I think it might be music.”
“Actually,” I respond, “it’s yellow day. And you guys have gym on different days. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s gym today or not, B. But you’re wearing your gym shoes, so you’ll be ready either way!” The noisy boys get a kick out of the color system our school uses to keep track of “special” days like gym and art. Or maybe they’re just amused that I cannot for the life of me figure the system out. Either way, it’s a common topic of conversation.
I offer quick hugs as they run to join their classmates and walk briskly home. I put baby b. down for his nap and look around. Three baskets of laundry need folding, the lunch dishes need to be put in the dishwasher, I have four phone calls to return, the kitchen floor crunches, and the family room looks like a bomb went off. I fold laundry while I return phone calls, do the dishes, sweep, and defrost chicken for our dinner tonight. I think about an article I want to write while I snap green beans. Maybe tomorrow, I think, as I get baby b. up for the walk back to school, glancing at the still-messy family room. Maybe tomorrow.