Today

There should be a word for days like today. Days that you find to be suddenly free that weren’t supposed to be. Maybe there is a word for that, made up by some TV writer, or maybe it’s just called playing hooky.

Whatever it’s called, today was a day like that. My grandma died yesterday, my mom’s mom. And then Augie had a fever and a miserable night, where he moved around every 30 seconds until dawn, when he finally slept. And he could not be separated from my body the whole time, which means I also had a miserable night.

“I think I’m not going in to work today,” I told Kyle around 8.

“That’s why you have sick days,” he said.

So I called in. Or emailed in, actually. And I went back to sleep.

The kids woke up and went outside to play. I got up and gave them each a slightly green banana and shared some banana bread with them.

We watched the birds pick at seeds from our new bird feeder.

Kyle got up, and we decided to have lunch at The Habit. We split a chicken salad, which tasted nothing like a cheeseburger.

We came back home and gave the kids showers.

Adelaide and August played outside while Kyle and I spent some much needed alone time together.

Kyle went to work, and I took the kids to the library just before it closed. I got some easy readers for Adelaide, and we went to the park.

Adelaide made friends with two little girls, and they ran around together. August mostly wanted to stay on the swings, but he went down the slide a few times, too.

I looked up at the mackerel sky and admired the way the setting sun cast its orange light on the underside of the date palms.

It was time to go home, but I decided we should walk down to the street fair instead.

There was an old Mexican man playing a harp, and Adelaide stopped to dance and got some applause from strangers.

Adelaide wore her long Rapunzel braid, but she was pretending to be Elsa from Frozen. I warned her that people might think she’s Rapunzel, which made her exclaim every two minutes to no one in particular, “I love pretending to be Elsa!” Finally I said, you know, not everyone knows who Elsa is if they haven’t seen the movie. Which made her change her exclamation to, “I love the movie Frozen!”

Someone said, “Look, it’s Rapunzel!” To which she replied, “Actually, I’m being Elsa from Frozen,” but they weren’t listening. “It’s OK, I know who you really are,” I said.

Then we bought a $3 bag of kettle corn and shared it on our walk back to the car. The harpist was gone when we walked by the spot where he was playing. Instead, the bubble man from the park was there, and he made bubbles for the kids to chase and pop.

We walked up to the big fountain by the library, and Augie tempted fate a few times as he walked around its perimeter.

Then the kids ran through the rosemary bushes and pretended they were lost in the forest until I spoiled their fun and made them get in the car.

We stopped for gas and went home. I made the kids a snack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and warm milk. And now we wait for Daddy to get home from work.

Five things about Kyle…

…that I’ll probably forget if I don’t write them down:

1. He wakes up before me every day to make me breakfast, even though he goes to sleep after I do.

2. He is very alert in the car, and always knows what the other drivers are thinking.

3. He takes a two-mile walk with the kids every day down to my work so we can have lunch together.

4. He works nights at Trader Joe’s and works on music during his breaks and after the kids and I go to bed.

5. He loves wearing a driving cap, a bandana, and/or FiveFingers.