From Chicken Soup for the Working Mom's Soul

Eight Days a Week

We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.

H. G. Wells

The incessant rain kept me indoors, giving me a rare opportunity to finally clean out the closet in an upstairs bedroom. On one of the shelves, I found some old calendars I had kept from when my two boys were much, much younger. Removing clothes that were destined never to make it into my eighteen-year-old son’s dresser or the hamper, I sat down on a chair in his room and perused the happenings of a year long ago. Thumbing through the entries from each of the jam-packed months brought back that incredibly busy time as if it were only yesterday.

No matter the season, the tiny box allotted to each day of the month was never big enough to contain the myriad jottings of appointments and reminders of important events, such as teacher conferences, dental visits, play-dates, chess lessons, birthday parties, school plays, soccer practices, spring concerts, baseball games, class trips, day-camp field days, and Cub Scout bowl-o-rees. My Palmer-perfect penmanship went out the window those days because I needed to cram more into each day’s tiny little square than often seemed humanly possible. Not listed on the calendar were the other important day-to-day events that were part and parcel of rearing two children—the 365 days of meals, laundry, baths, and bedtime stories.

As I sat reminiscing, I clearly recalled that in the midst of the whirlwind of rearing two sons, it often felt as if I would never have a minute to myself. But as hard as it was to savor every moment when they were young—especially when the control button on my body seemed to be stuck in “Fast Forward”—I knew the day would come when I actually would have the time to nurture my garden, read a good book, have a quiet dinner with my husband, and watch a movie that wasn’t restricted to General Audiences.

The boys are older now, and we still have a family calendar, but it’s a lot less crowded these days. My sons no longer need to be driven to three athletic fields in one day. Neither my husband nor I need to save a vacation day from work to chaperone a trip to the Metropolitan Museum or Big Apple Circus. And events with my children’s now-grown childhood friends don’t need to be inked on to the master calendar; at this age the “children” are more than capable of handling most of the day-to-day details of their lives on their own.

So for now I’m enjoying this respite on the calendar. Although my sons may someday keep their own family calendars on computers—where the boxes for each day can expand infinitely—I’m sure that one day I’ll be asked, “Mom, can you check your calendar to see if you can babysit next Saturday night?”

I’m keeping the date open.

Pamela Hackett Hobson

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