I saw a pile of Scrabble tiles in a Facebook picture recently on my 5 minute social media break, otherwise known as my bathroom break, and thought, what if you could turn up the tiles you wanted in life, instead of the random ones you pull out of the bag.
If you have you ever played Scrabble and wanted to will certain tiles onto your rack, but got other ones, you understand my life. I have 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 jobs, 2 elderly parents and 1 husband. It’s crazy.
Each morning, I wake up early, take the dogs for a walk, make breakfast and ensure my kids get dressed in something close to a human wardrobe. I’m pretty flexible, but when my 1st grader wears underpants outside his clothes because Superman does it, doesn’t fly with me. My 3rd grader keeps trying to wear his favorite shirt and jeans every day. He saw a commercial for Febreeze and thinks he can just spray and go. And my 6th grader daughter wants to dress exactly like her favorite Instagram pop stars. So I need to make sure there are no crop tops or makeup smuggled into her bag for a quick-change later. Apparently more than one of my children wants to pretend they are someone else. It’s not a bad idea, I’d like a secret identity – sanity.
Then I drop all three kids off at their three different schools. Thanks to overcrowding and lower school budgets, the school district separates kids by grade level and my kids just happen to fall into the grade categories that are in different buildings, lucky me.
Then I go to my parents’ house and make sure they eat, take pills and take them to whatever doctors or therapists they need. They want to be independent, but they’re older and have some physical needs and a lot of denial issues. I was a change of life baby and my two older much older siblings live in different states, so I need to check on them. After nearly 70 years of marriage my parents have figured out one thing – they love each other, but don’t really like each other very much. I think they are playing the one up game to see who can annoy each other the most. He refuses to bathe for days at a time, so she sprays the house with perfume. She won’t cook or do laundry for him anymore, so he makes messes everywhere in retaliation. Part of this job is to make sure they don’t kill each other.
Then I go to my first job as an aerobics instructor and personal trainer. It doesn’t pay a lot, but the hours are flexible, so I can get everything else done.
At 3pm, I need to pick up my kids from their schools and take them to soccer, music lessons or whatever else we’ve signed them up for so they are well-rounded people.
Back to my parents to cook them an early dinner and clean up a little. I hired a cleaning lady for them, but they argue so much, many of the services won’t send anyone because they’re uncomfortable. They use new people like pawns in their war of the roses.
Pick up the kids, make dinner and do homework until bedtime. Then walk the dogs again and do my second job as a medical transcriber until I fall down asleep. And start all over again.
My scrabble tiles read run, cook, clean, drive, work and sleep.
My husband helps when he can, but he’s in the Navy and spends a lot of time deployed, so he’s gone for months. When he’s home for a couple weeks here and there, I get a little breather, but I really want to spend time with him too.
I had a lot of plans when I was a kid for a professional career as a nurse or even a doctor, but those aren’t the tiles I picked. Falling in love young and a prom night pregnancy gave me tiles of 19-year old motherhood and the rest you know. Maybe when my husband retires after 20 years, I can go back to school. Maybe not. We’ll see what tiles I get.
(c) Copyright 2021, Suzanne Rudd Hamilton