Life may not always seem exciting, but it's worth writing down

Posted October 14

5:10 a.m., my alarm goes off.

I wake up with six hours of sleep and put on my gym clothes. It’s cold and dark, but here I go, getting a jump on the day.

In life, some days are good and some are bad; some are meaningful, others are just horrible. But most days are the same. Most days are mundane, where not much out of the ordinary happens. These are the days in which my life is formed.

I remember missing school once or twice as a child and joining my mom on some errands. I remember being entirely captivated watching the color of the sky through my car window as she drove us from errand to errand. I felt as though I had a glimpse into her mysterious doings, even if they were ordinary and predictable, like going to the bank and the grocery store. I loved spending those moments with her. I wish my grandmother Fleeta, who died before I was born, recorded a few of those moments. For posterity, here are more of mine:

7:44 a.m., back home. Sweaty. I grab my No. 3 child, and he lets me cuddle him for a moment while I try to warm up. He nuzzles his soft, golden hair against my cheek.

7:55 a.m. The bus comes in exactly 30 minutes so I make scrambled eggs, cold cereal and strawberry oatmeal. I pick out clothes for children No. 1 and No. 2 and have a fight with No. 2 about whether shorts are an acceptable choice in 50-degree weather. I lose the fight.

8:23 a.m. No. 1 is ready for school, walking to the bus stop, while I curse a little and try to tie No. 2’s shoelaces. I’m unsuccessful, so he runs to the bus with his red laces flapping here and there. I hope he doesn’t trip. His sister ties his laces when he gets to school.

8:26 a.m. I take No. 3 by the hand and start looking for blue clothes and a blue toy for preschool show-and-tell. Blue is, of course, the color of the day. But all he sees is green and red. He yells at me when I tell him he can’t take a yellow toy to school. He agrees to bring the blue and purple owls after I show him which color is blue and which is purple.

8:55 a.m. I line my car up along the curb with all of the other moms waiting to drop their children at preschool. His teacher is very organized. I feel a pang every time I say goodbye to No. 3 even though it’s just for a couple of hours.

9:05 a.m. Back at home. I eat the leftover, cold scrambled eggs and swallow six fish oil pills with some chocolate milk. I change out of my gym clothes and head to the car. I have about five errands to finish before I come back to get No. 3.

9:30 a.m. I wash and vacuum car. Nobody’s allowed to eat in the car, yet somehow these kids have filled the backseat with crumbs and sticky things. So dirty.

10:05 a.m. I check my tire pressure because the check tire light came on. Turns out, one of the tires has a slice in the sidewall and if I drive on the freeway it will explode. Must get two new tires. Ugh.

11:30 a.m. I find a baby shower gift, mail things at post office and finish all of my errands except one. No. 3 waves at me as he stands on the sidewalk and the preschool pickup procession proceeds.

11:40 a.m. No. 2 comes home from school. He has a juice box and some cookies for a snack.

12:15 p.m. I’m wrapping the baby shower gift when No. 3 decides he can’t make it to the potty and pees on the stairs. Luckily, No. 2 helps me clean up the mess. No. 2 is my favorite.

12:16 p.m. I step in the mess and throw my wet socks into the dirty laundry.

12:45 p.m. I make the boys lunch and start steaming some grapes for homemade grape juice. The boys have a great time washing the grapes and watching the little berries blister and pop in the steamer.

1:30 p.m. I have some leftovers for lunch.

2:10 p.m. I load the boys up to go to the tire store to get new tires. I put various electronics in my purse to try to appease them. This isn’t going to be pretty.

3:15 p.m. The car has new tires. The electronics’ batteries weren’t charged and died almost immediately. No. 2 had two timeouts in the tire store while No. 3 played nicely. No. 3 is my favorite.

3:45 p.m. Home. Processing grape juice and making dinner at the same time. Boys are fighting. No. 1 is practicing piano. No 1 is my favorite.

4:15 p.m. I hide in my room because I can’t take the screaming.

5 p.m. Back in the kitchen. Banished boys outside. No. 1 is still the best. Boys are blowing bubbles inside.

At some point, I went to the baby shower, taught a yoga class, came home, ate dinner and went to bed too late. Tomorrow is another day — mundane, maybe meaningful, and marvelous to be alive.

Amy Choate-Nielsen is a full-time mom and part-time writer. She spends her days at the park and her nights at the computer. She writes about family history and her quest to understand life while learning about her deceased grandmother Fleeta.


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