Letters to Holly

Tuesday, August 16

Rage. Mow. Rage. Yank.

You know that my job can rub me the wrong way. Monday was especially bad. Something minor -- and I could admit even then that it was minor -- got under my cuticles, and I was ready to walk. The sidekick shuts down that line of thinking pretty quick, much quicker than I might have entertained it.

When I got home, I handed him off to Your Sister and explained that the weather made mowing the yard too convenient to put off. Also, I needed to burn off the frustration. I only mowed the front yard. The backyard would take too long, and I didn't want to force Your Sis to do the boy's entire downtime herself. I figured I could shave the yard and get back inside to bathe him. And I did. I timed it just right.

The yard really did need the mow. My neighbor hires a crew to manicure his lawn to the height of a golf green, and mine looks like it belongs to a meth lab by comparison. As soon as his yard is cut, I feel that tractor beam of friendly competitive home ownership.

It got cut, and I got inside. The boy got bathed. I fed him his bedtime snack and turned on the oven to warm for supper. When Your Sis put him to bed, I prepped the wings. The oven temperature alarm went off, and I shoved the food inside and hit the timer for the usual 20 minutes (wings bake for 20 minutes before I smother them in sauce and bake for another 20 minutes). I added two minutes and ran outside to slip on the waiting yard shoes to weed the sweet potatoes.

Those vines have been covered in weeds and grass for weeks, and I could never quite get to them. That ate at me since I first noticed it, and I knew I had the lingering anger to power through it in record time. But I wanted to get back in before the first timer went off. And again I did. I got back inside with three minutes left, so I would have returned with just one minutes to go before I added the sauce. I did that, showered, and called My Mom to report on the sidekick's follow-up appointment yesterday morning. The second timer gave me an excuse to get off the phone and yank Your Sis away from her desk; she needed a dinner break amid the schoolwork.

She ate as we caught up on the day. Her first day in front of kids was fine, but she has hours and hours between bathroom breaks, and there's still some sort of organization to do, requiring time at her desk. I draw. I surf online. I clean up.

I did burn it all out of me and eventually figured out how the sparking event could actually be turned in my favor. I call that a minor victory.

Picture of the Day
That was my face as I mowed. (Which one? ALL OF THEM.)

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