68: Witch Wednesday
68: Witch Wednesday
Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
“There’s no place like home.”
Unless, of course, it’s Wednesday.
Wednesday is the only day of the week in which I need to catch the 7:41 a.m. train to Manhattan. If I miss that train, I’m toast. The next one comes at 9:00 a.m., and that would make me late for work.
And that would not be good.
So each week, as I start the Wednesday morning rush, my dear family loses the usual Glinda-like person they know as Mom and are subjected to the harried Wednesday Witch.
“I have to make the train on time! Don’t you make me late! Get out of bed! Now!”
My typical, well-paced routine goes completely awry as I make my munchkin boy step into high gear. I’ve been known to pull a blanket or two off a sleeping body as I spit out the words, “Get Up!”
My threats are thrown around like fireballs through the air: “I’m walking the dogs now, and when I get back, you better be up… and dressed… my pretty!”
I fly out the door, broom-less, walk the dogs in a quick jog, my little Dorothy and Toto looking as forlorn as two oppressed flying monkeys.
When I return from the walk, I set my tornado in motion again. “Wake Up!” I shout up the stairs to the slumbering darlings in their beds, as they rub their eyes and jump out of their beds. My son makes it downstairs in time for his breakfast, his hair uncombed and disheveled like a little scarecrow.
Wednesday, I should mention, is the only day of the week I work. It’s a sweet deal, I know. One I’m very thankful for.
Years ago, I worked the regular nine-to-five, five-day-a-week job, but after my son was born, I cut down my hours to be home and raise him. My husband and I decided that would be the best plan (for us) and we’re happy we made that decision.
I demoted myself in consecutive steps, from five days a week, to three, to two, and finally just the one day a week. Wednesday.
The problem with working one day a week is that if you’re late for work, it looks extra bad. Who can’t make it to work on time one day a week?
That adds a lot of pressure. The train needs to be on time, and my husband and son must be ready to go with no cause for delay. No excuses.
There is an upside, however, in being the Wednesday Witch.
It’s the one day of the week I actually put on make-up, blow-dry my hair and make a conscious effort to look presentable. No fuzzy pullover sweater and pajama pants on Wednesdays! No, sir. It’s dresses and tights, and sometimes the pearls even come out.
Once all is set, and the crew has had their breakfast, we’re in the car. My husband first drops me off at the train station, my son off at school, and then drives himself to work.
I buy my train ticket and visit my friend, Maria, the crossing guard on the corner, for a few minutes as I listen for the ding-dong of the oncoming 7:41 train.
Once I’m seated on the train, I say a little prayer of thanksgiving, check my phone for e-mails, and take a book out of my bag to read until I arrive at Penn Station. Then it’s out into the brisk wind that whips along Fifth Avenue, dodging people left and right — which reminds me that I’m away from home, the place I love the most and away from the family that means everything to me.
I’m not in Kansas anymore, and I don’t like it.
I take a deep breath as I enter my building and quickly review the prior night’s Mets game with the doorman. Glinda is back. for now.
Once I’m in the elevator, I again realize how much I miss being home.
The elevator doors open, and I whisper a prayer that my boss will be in a good mood. It’s 9:00 a.m. Whew! I’ve made it on time again.
I prepare myself for the world of business. Phones ring, traders are selling, buying, holding, and there are a hundred e-mails that need responses. I’m a mixture now of Glinda and the Wednesday Witch. I need a bit of both right now.
Looking around the office, it dawns on me how differently I live my life on the other days of the week, and I long to be back home. Focusing now, I do my job as well as I can, knowing that soon it’ll be 5:00 p.m. when I’ll be able to click my heels and go back home. Home!
Juggling family, motherhood, and work — even if only one day a week — is challenging and exhausting. But I do it, as so many other moms do it (five, even six days a week).
I know, as they know, that it’s worth it. Because home is there waiting. Home. Like an oasis!
We all just need to breathe and pray and get through the day and focus on what’s important — God, our dear families and home.
Juggling it all is hard, but with a little heart, some brains, and a bit of courage, we’ll all get to see that rainbow.
~Mary C. M. Phillips
Title: Reprinted by permission of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC © 2014. In order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, no portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent. All rights reserved.