Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Call Waiting

There’s a lot of bashing of busy-ness these days – most recently in a New York Times  opinion piece which spoke to "multi-tasking busy" and "over-scheduling busy". Habits that often lead to "you-can’t-think-straight busy."

Yet, for me, busy works. I was raised by the Idle Hands is the Devil's Workshop adage. And I saw my Mom's busy hands always at work: cooking, cleaning, sewing, knitting and crocheting, reading, doing a crossword puzzle.
Mom wasn’t in-and-out-of-the-house busy. More a keep-yourself-occupied busy.

Lately, keeping myself occupied has been more necessary than usual. A week ago, my daughter's obstetrician told her that, even though she would not be full term until August 4, she probably would not make it to her next regular appointment – in a week – before giving birth. “It can happen anytime,” he told her and then she told me.

Em lives an hour away. Since her move a few weeks ago, I’m up in her neck of Eastern Massachusetts every few days, which leaves me back  in my neck of Northern Connecticut every few days – waiting, at a bit of a distance. Milton ends his sonnet “On Blindness” with the oft-quoted line, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”  He seems to have been speaking from the point of view of a person with a disability. There’s a peaceful resignation in his words.  Serving as a mother (at a distance) who is waiting for her daughter’s first child to arrive leaves little room for repose.

That said, Sunday, the day after I had been up to eastern MA and fives days after Em's doctor gave her the sooner-rather-than-later signal, I waited. And as I waited I

·         Answered morning emails

·         Paid bills

·         Went to church

·         Visited Em’s Grandmother

·        Returned home to do a wash. Didn’t want those clothes piling up – just in case I had to hustle east.

·         Weeded

·        Mowed the lawn. Didn’t really need it, but I could be otherwise engaged in a day or two.

·        Measured and set aside the dry ingredients for a blueberry buckle (my mother’s recipe). This way I would just have to add the milk, butter, and eggs tomorrow morning, when the kitchen would feel cooler.

·        Measured and set aside the dry ingredients for another blueberry buckle, after I realized I had enough blueberries. This way, I’d only heat up the kitchen once for two buckles.

·         Read the local  paper

·         Texted back and forth to my daughter

·         Texted forth and back to my son

·         Downloaded the NY Times on my Kindle.

·         Ironed. Which I rarely do. Wanted to be sure I could dress without a fuss, just in case . . .

·         Watched the Sox lose to Toronto

·        Turned on the oven. It was late  but what the heck. The ingredients were all measured out anyway. I needed something to do.

·         Mixed, stirred, folded and poured.

·         Cooled the buckles. Wrapped 'em.

·         Resent 9 rounds of Words With Friends

·         Went to bed and awoke to 9 newly returned rounds of Words With Friends

·         Got a call. “Things are starting to happen.”

Good thing I baked those buckles last night.

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