Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Day In The Life

5am. The youngest member of the household, the fair and hungry Liam, greets the thin bands of sunlight just beginning to filter through his blinds with a perfectly executed high "C". Simultaneously impressed with her son's perfect pitch and disgruntled at being so shockingly aroused from a deep, dreamless sleep, Tree jabs her husband (who is either deaf or pretending to be deaf) in the ribs.

The day starts the same each morning, and unfailingly accelerates with impressive vigour as the six members of the household shower, dress, eat breakfast, and prepare for school, daycare, and/or work. By the time 7am hits, the cacophony of noise has achieved ear-splitting proportions.

In those two hours between wakening and piling unceremoniously into the car, this family barely has a moment to breathe. Somehow, though...somehow they manage to sneak in a few hugs and kisses, several I love you's and a generous helping of laughter.

Faces may not be spotless, homework may be forgotten on the kitchen table, and milk may remain puddled on the floor, but these people leave with something more important than those small details: they leave with security. With love. With connection.

Until they pile through the door again, each person's day is separate from the other's. But somehow, they remain connected.

Evenings are just as crazy. Dinner is prepared and consumed, messes are cleaned up (or, more often, swept to the side), homework is tackled, visiting friends of the children's are entertained or turned away with the promise of a future playdate. Baths are given, stories are read, teeth are brushed...and if all goes well, the adults of the household are treated to a couple of hours of time to themselves. Time which is often occupied with the preparation of lunches, the folding of laundry, and the loading of the dishwasher.

If this daily routine isn't enough, imagine the unexpected events which further exacerbate an already very busy existence for this family. The daycare worker complains of chest pains and spends a day in the hospital. The car threatens to break down. The guy from Weed Man shows up for an appointment which has been completely forgotten by Jim and Tree. Caleb needs to go to baseball practice. Jeff and Jim have a baseball game. Tree, who moonlights as a psychic medium, has a reading to do.

And somebody is always sick...or needs to go to the dentist...or needs new shoes.

And every night after supper, Tree picks up her flute and plays every song she knows. Liam sits at her feet, swaying to the music, his face upturned, smiling.

Caleb constructs nonsensical jokes, and coincidentally makes everyone laugh.

Aidan dances for the baby to get him to stop crying. If his efforts are unsuccessful, he offers him his soother, or gives him crackers, or kisses him lightly on the cheek, patting his head gently.

Jim grabs Tree and holds her tightly, saying "I love you so much" so many times a day, but it always feels like the first time.

Jeff sits down with Caleb and helps him with his homework. Then he teaches him something that isn't in his books. About the universe. About stars. About how wonderful it feels to learn.

And at the end of the day, when exhausted heads meet welcoming pillows, and quiet fills the house, the chaos is all so, so worth it.


At 6:10 PM, Blogger mama_tulip said...

This, my friend, is the best post I've read in a long time.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Jennboree said...

That is a perfect description of what family life should be. Anyone blessed enough to experience it should appreciate what they have.

Thank you for sharing your family with all of us! Your obvious love and devotion to each other puts me on the verge of tears...again :)

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I'm so touched I can't even think of a rude joke...

At 8:41 PM, Blogger MomSquared said...


At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That's the life that I want.


At 7:49 AM, Blogger Ann said...

Wow Tree that is wonderful.
I am just a little confused.. who is Jeff?

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've posted comments several times and this is the first anonymous comment I've sent--I'm sorry tree.

I'm very happy at your family life--so beautiful, full of love and happiness.

Mine isn't close to yours--in fact my husband constantly thinks I'm going to leave him (because of past relationships--and I'm being accused of something I've never even thought of). He brings my 3 year old into our arguements and confuses him, he apologises after and then dose it again.

In essence I'm miserable in my family life and wish so much that I could make it better--I have no Idea what to do.

Please pray for me--or think of me well when you're sending these wonderful vibes into the universe--maybe I can catch some of the good karma and use it for my family.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger TreeBob said...

ann my brother in law and tree's brother. He lives here.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Mommyof3 said...

I am imagining Liam looking at you while you play the flute; that was a beautiful post. You are lucky indeed and since (except for the flute part) I was thinking "wow, that sounds like my house", you reminded me that I am lucky, too. Thank you. Hugs, Diane

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Kels said...

I had a hard day, I was tired and a little cranky....My body was starting to feel my 32 weeks pregnant...I was a little on edge and then I read your post....

It made me smile, it made me happy, it made me remember how blessed I am.

I love you Tree, I love that you see how lucky you are. You are an amazing woman. So much light! I am honored to be able to call you a friend:)

At 2:09 PM, Blogger TreeBob said...

you were up much too late last night! or did I wake you up when I called :(

At 3:13 PM, Blogger la Ketch said...

how beautiful!

At 7:13 PM, Blogger mama_tulip said...

Hi Tree. Me again. :)

Okay, if it happens again, the whole kid standing beside my bed breathing in my ear, I'm gonna seek help from you. I'm thinking maybe it was an isolated incident because nothing like that has ever happened here before.

Sorry to post something that has nothing to do with your original post. It's still the best thing I've read in a long time.

At 6:40 AM, Blogger The Mater said...

If you were never to write another essay again, this would suffice. It comes from the heart and makes us all stop and think about the meaning of family and those big and little creatures who share our lives from dawn through dusk each day.

We are, indeed, a vast network of connections and should be ever mindful and grateful for that. It's the little quiet moments in the whirlwind days (flute playing, brother comforting brother, husband hugging wife) which make it all worthwhile. Amazing grace.

Thank you for such wise thoughts. You've painted a beautiful picture.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger ccap said...

Here via Perfect Post. Congratulations. Wonderful post.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Natsthename said...

That really is perfect! I love how you stepped up the pace of the writing, but when bedtime drew near, you slowed the pace of your words, too. Very nice! Congrats on the Perfect Post!

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Heather said...

How lovely. It reminded me of all of the craziness and love in my house when I was growing up--and how much I want to give that to the Bug.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Amber said...

Wow! I just found this on this months "perfect post" awards, and I have to tell you it was just so beautiful! Normal, happy, day-to-day family life...What is better than that? It made me cry.


At 10:48 PM, Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Sounds like you have a wonderful family. Congrats on your Perfect Post Award! :)

At 11:38 PM, Blogger something blue said...

This is truly perfect in every way.

I hope to be able to achieve a small portion of the comfort zen that is your home.

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

This post is so sweet! The next time all five of us seem to be going at once, I'm going to try to stop and remember that what happens at home travels with my family during their day. Thank you, Tree.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger RLGelber said...

I so enjoyed reading this!

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came to read this from Perfect Post. And it really is. My day is so parallel to yours. And it is indeed so so worth it. Thanks for the reminder to look.

- Reen


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