The other day I was having one of those self-pitying IS THIS ALL THERE IS sort of days -- you know, when you feel caught in a bleak Sisyphean loop of wiping up crumbs and making meals, which create more crumbs then wiping up those crumbs? -- and the next morning I randomly took a photo of my 6-year-old when he was still in bed and I thought, Actually, this is EVERYTHING. The messes, the cyclical tasks, the grind and the glory.

For the rest of that day, I took photos with my cellphone. One after another, nothing framed, nothing well-lit, just random images documenting my day. When I look back on them now, I see a lot of mundane, totally unexciting activities ... that add up to a comforting wave of pure joy. Look how good it all is.

A typical day, from start to finish:

Waking up this one ...


While this one makes his bed. Note mission-critical placement of stuffed animals.


Breakfast date with their Pacific Rim guys (which are, by the way, a bitch to step on in the dead of night).

 

Morning screen time, because the alternative is total chaos and it's TOO EARLY FOR THAT.

 

I felt it was worth documenting that I put on actual clothes. Sort of. That crazy-comfortable Old Navy roll-up skirt is basically a t-shirt for your butt.

 

School dropoff for the second grader.

 

While I assign the 6-year-old to his day of hard unpaid child labor. I'm kidding, he just really likes vacuuming ants in the sunroom.

 

Work time for me.

 

While this one keeps himself entertained. Along with the cat, apparently.

 

During lunch, he leaves the "crust" off every triangle of quesadilla. EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO CRUST.

 

Bus pickup. Our town only has half-day kindergarten, so he goes in around noon. Now I'm free for three hours! So much time to do whatever I want! Whoohoo! I'm going to ...

 

... go to the gym. Whomp whomp. (Do not be fooled by the adorableness of that jaunty pink sandbag, that thing weighs 25 pounds and it was invented by evil sadists.)

 

And tackle some of this, along with more writing. Oh look, my three hours are up.

 

Time to welcome these monkeys back home.

 

And allow them a little more screen-staring. Wild Kratts is educational, right?

 

Ooh, UPS came! God, I love Amazon.

 

Outside for playing. And by "playing" I mean "giving me a heart attack."

 

Back in the car. I've changed my clothes because spring weather in Oregon, man. That shit is fickle.

 

Pediatrician checkup. I took this photo before all the coughing-without-covering-their-mouths children showed up.

 

Back home for my daily despairing gaze into the refrigerator in search of dinner inspiration. I am the absolute worst at meal planning.

 

Husband's home! Husband's home! They're off on an errand, which means I can do whatever I want! PAAAAAARTYYYYYY!

 

... what? Going to the store alone is basically a spa visit complete with hot stone massage.

 

The 8-year-old got an awesome hand-me-down from his cousin. I'm blown away by how BIG KID-ish that bike looks.

 

Look at him go!

 

Not pictured: inevitable crash, dramatic weeping, skinned elbow.

 

Winding down at the end of the day. Lately they're obsessed with drawing Minecraft scenes.

 

Bedtime story.

 

Goodnight kisses.

 

And now for my nightly ritual with my husband where we sexily plop down on the couch and watch TV. Hey, you take together time where you can get it, right?

 

When we retire for the night, the cat comes in and kneads her bed for like 10 blissed-out minutes. I don't know why, but it makes me stupidly happy. It's like that awesome part at the end of a yoga class where you just lay there and feel the goodness of what you just experienced -- even the uncomfortable, less-loved stuff -- seep into your insides. Dig, knead, dig. I know, cat. Me too.

What does a random day from your life look like?


Images via Linda Sharps