Took my husband’s blue French cuff shirt out of the dryer and noticed that it was too wrinkled and the collar too limp. Out came the iron and the ironing board in the room that is supposed to be my office but has been taken over by clothes marked for donation. The collar was curled under and stubbornly refused to straighten as a proper collar should. After many minutes and much pressing the collar finally agreed to submit and lay pointed and true.
My husband told me one reason out of a million that he loves is that I notice things like his collar and fix them, so he doesn’t leave the house looking unkempt.
He left for his sales calls. I fixed the kids their cereal.
A blanket went into the washer because my son was wearing it around the house, causing it to collect dog fur.
The kids argued over who had to take the dog out, one son objected because he was only wearing boxer shorts. The other pointed out that we don’t have next door neighbors. I pointed out the group of men working in the field adjacent to the house with their bulldozers and assorted loud machines. Oldest son said he never knew they were there. I mentioned the smell of exhaust fumes coming in the windows, he shrugged and took out the dog.
I vacuumed the floors wondering how a small dog can drop so much hair. I wondered about my attention span and lack of focus. I thought about the bit in a book I’m reading that addresses self doubt and her cousins talking to a writer while writing and making a mental note that they somehow appear even while cleaning-but never about cleaning. The kitten and the dog began wrestling in line of the vacuum and I shooed them off. My daughter began crying about an ant that could only move its antennae and not walk; I quickly picked it up in a Kleenex and flushed it.
She cried harder and told me I killed it. I tried to explain suffering and that with insects it is better to kill them swiftly. She told me I was mean. Later she asked me to get rid of a big hairy jumping spider on the curtain, I used the vacuum hose. This did not make her sad.
My son ate an apple and instead of it turning out the normal shape an apple does when eaten to the core, he ate it into a square.
I was given a note covered with infinity signs that said “This is how much I love you, your kid Gwen”