Thursday Morning Wood

Posted by Wood | Thursday, September 07, 2006 |

Dutch and I have often tossed around the idea that someday, maybe 10 years from now, we'll start our own business and spend our working time together. We have grand ideas for potential restaurants ("sexy dutch food"), or hanging out a shingle to form our own law firm (Wood & Dutch LLP), or doing something other than punching a clock for someone else. Together, we imagine our brunch menu, or the impeccable furniture we'd put in our law firm's reception area. We envision mornings spent strategizing, leisurely lunch hours, and we picture Juniper doing her homework in the back room before we all go home in time for an early dinner. If even one of the three of us could sing or play an instrument, I'm sure we would have dreamed up plans for going on the road as a traveling family band. That's just how annoying we are.

I think visiting Heather and Jon a couple weeks ago further inspired such fantasies. How awesome is it that they get to spend all their time together with Leta? I think Dutch was totally inspired by the midweek midafternoon manclog lifestyle. Before we were even out of Utah, he was offering ways that I could stay home and help pay the mortgage. I vetoed everything that didn't involve selling the junk he finds at thrift stores on eBay. In the end, we were left with nothing.

Notably, that was at the beginning of our trip home. After spending the last three weeks boxed in together and bound up by packing tape, sneezing up clouds of goldfish cracker dust, I can't believe that I ever thought spending all of our days together was a goal worthy of our imagination. The little fights we experienced during the beginning of the move seem almost cute to me right now, compared to this cabin fever and blinding irritation that comes from spending over 24 consecutive hours inside our new home surrounded by boxes full of crap we can't figure out why we didn't throw away, simultaneously tripping over those boxes and slamming our heads into unfamiliar cabinet corners all while trying to entertain a toddler who doesn't understand that no, she can't play with the knives in that box or the wine glasses in that box or the picture frames in that box. It seems like we opened every box looking for her toys before we found them, but when we did Juniper just sat there in the golden glow of all the toys she hadn't seen for three weeks. That kept her occupied for a good fifteen minutes.

Last night, as I was trying to get Juniper to sleep for the first time in her new twin bed in her own bedroom, Dutch called to me from downstairs in a tone of voice that I've become familiar with over the last few days. It's a tone almost always accompanied by profanity, and it usually means that something has been broken, ruined, or peed on, and that whatever it is it requires that I come immediately. As I grabbed Juniper from her bed and sprinted downstairs, I was already pissed at Dutch and preemptively figuring out how to blame him for whatever crisis had befallen us. But when I got downstairs, he was standing at the window breathlessly watching a mother opossum waddling past our living room window with at least ten babies clinging to her back. She walked slowly, pausing as one of her babies inevitably slipped off and she waited for it to scramble up again. I know they're basically giant rats, but at that moment, I was overcome with how beautiful it was to see her. Dutch apologized for yelling so harshly, saying that he just didn't want me to miss a second of the mama opossum's journey across our backyard. Juniper pointed at the opossum and said, "Mama," and all three of stood there enthralled. For a moment there I thought the plans for a sexy Dutch restaurant might be back on.

Dutch's last day of work was August 9, so the three of us have been together almost constantly for a month. Juniper is so spoiled by this that she gets upset when one of us walks away from our little trio, even if she's being held in the other's arms. Despite how stir crazy we've been with moving and the traveling, it is clear that she's happiest when she's with both of us at the same time.

Monday morning I'll leave Dutch and Juniper at home to go to my first day of work. Soon I'm sure all of our internecine squabbles will fade and the amazing things that happened during our month will take hold in my memory. A time where the three of us can spend all day with each other will once again be confined to our imagination.