by Andilyn Jenkins
A mom gets ready for bed. A dad goes to sleep. "Why don't you go get ready for bed, dear. I'll be in in a minute," Aaron subtly suggests because he knows. He knows that even if he gives me a head-start, he'll still fall asleep long (often hours) before I do.
* * *
Aaron walks in the room for bed after I've put on my salmon-colored pajama pants and an old t-shirt that says, "Anything war can do, peace can do better," in a rainbow font. I just placed my day-time t-shirt in the previously empty hamper and thought, "The laundry is never done."
Aaron digs through his dresser drawer. "What are you looking for, honey?"
"My black basketball shorts I wore to play football last week."
And in the time it takes him to check under another pair of jeans my brain takes me to the dinner-table a week previously and plays out this conversation in full color and detail.
"Oh, are these new basketball shorts?" I asked pointing to an insignia on the knee I hadn't noticed before.
"No, just old. They're reversible. I usually wear the white side," he explains, flipping the hem over at the knee to show me the reverse.
"I don't like wearing the white side to play football 'cause they get grass stains."
So, now I know what shorts he's talking about. And my brain ticka-tick-ticks. Nightstand drawer? No, those are his pajama basketball shorts. Did I fold them in my last load of colors? No, that load had the blues, mints, and grays I washed first to deal with Evelyn's grass stains. I saved the darker load for after in case the stains didn't come out and I wanted to wash them again. And I just folded that load, so his shorts must be in the dryer.
"They're not in there, hon. They're in the dryer," I answer as he looks between his third pair of pants.
No! They're in the wash. I took the dryer load out early so I could fold it before I went to bed. Don't forget to check Evelyn's pants.
"Oh, I mean they're in the wash. I'll put them in the dryer before I go to bed so you can have them in the morning." Don't forget to put those in the dryer. And check Evelyn's pants.
I snap my hair into a ponytail and slip on my headband. As I squeeze the tube of Clean N Clear, Aaron asks, "Did you call your mom?" as he goes into the closet and comes out with his old running shoes, placing them in front of his dresser to remind himself to get the shorts out of the dryer before work.
"No . . ." So tomorrow I need to return that call, oh, and return my dad's call. He wanted to know about Christmas gifts for the kids. So think about ideas to give him. And he asked about work. I need to go over my notes before I call him so I have something progressive to say. Man, I can't believe it's been so long since I worked on his project for work. I don't know how time slips away from me. I've just been so busy lately with family visiting and sisters having babies and getting Christmas started and recovering the house from Thanksgiving. Oh, don't forget to turn on the dishwasher tomorrow. " . . . I'll call her tomorrow."
I turn on the water and scrub off my makeup then grope half-blinded for my bath towel and dry my face. And the thinking continues. I reach for Kleenex and my brain jumps to the grocery list. I pull my hair out of the ponytail and remind myself to text Cami, a friend who happens to be my hairdresser, about our plans this weekend. I walk from the master bath to the bedroom and see empty water bottles, dusty dressers, Walmart items to return. Mental note, mental note, mental note. My toe hits the full laundry basket--don't forget to switch out that load. And check Evelyn's pants.
Aaron and I read a few verses from our scriptures and say our couple's prayer. Then he falls asleep. I get out of bed to get my day planner from the kitchen and open the door to thousands of mental notes. Notes that I know I can't grip. I see the preschool bag, but I won't remember that Evelyn has homework to do until I see it again tomorrow, ten minutes before school starts. I see my laptop sitting on the table, but I already forgot today is blogging day. I grab my planner and keep my eyes on the floor so I won't see the bottle I meant to wash, the macaroni I wanted to put away, and the socks that escaped laundry day.
Because in seconds, my brain tells me 357 things I forgot, misplaced, over-scheduled, and neglected. But tonight, I remembered to hide Dash, our elf-on-the-shelf. And because I checked my planner before bed, I’m writing my blog post. And I’m really going to try and remember to put that load in the dryer after I’m done here. But the reality is I’m human. And being a mom is a super-human job. So, sometimes, we have grass stains on our pants.