Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Drive Home

On work days, I leave about 7:15ish to drive home.  Having arrived at the hospital around 6:30am, I am BEYOND ready to leave by 7:15pm.  Gathering up my lunch bag, pumping supplies and whatever milk I've pumped that day, I head out the door in search of my car in the somewhat distant parking lot.  My car is a 2002 basic model vehicle.  There is no keyless entry or key fob.  There's just a key.  If I forget where I parked, which does happen on occasion, my car will not chirp at me at the press of a button.  It will sit in solitary silence until I find it.

I throw my stuff in the passenger seat and start the drive home.  This drive begins by negotiating my way through the parking lot where lots of my coworkers are walking to their cars.  This requires slow, careful parking lot driving.  At least it SHOULD.  Some people don't get that.  Moments before they were pedestrians, just like me, but as soon as they get in their cars, they have no problem practically running me down.  Strange how that works.  How they forget so quickly how unnerving it is to be on foot and have someone speed by dangerously close.

Anyhoo...back to the drive.  Having successfully navigated the parking lot treachery, I'm on my way home.  Lots of thoughts run through my head at this point.  Thoughts about how my day went, how hungry I am, how I hope the day went for my baby and my mom who watches him and my husband who picks him up from my mom's.  I hope to walk into the house and all be well.  But I just never know what it will be like.  Sometimes I can hear the baby crying while I'm still on the stairs climbing my way up to the 3rd floor apartment in which we live.

Again...back to the drive.  Traffic at 7:15pm is usually non-existent.  That's a perk.  Both coming and going from work are non-peak times for the rest of the world.  No traffic is nice.  My "commute" takes approximately 12 minutes.  I love that.

While sitting at one of the stoplights, I glance over at the grassy median.  The grass is overgrown.  I wonder whose job it is to mow that grass and how frequently it gets down.  Then I wonder if there are any snakes in that grass.  Why do I care?  I don't have to walk through that grass.  Still, it bothers me to think there MAY be a snake within 15 feet of me.  Even though I'm in a car, totally protected from unprovoked snake attacks.

Why am I thinking about snakes?  I hate snakes.  I'd rather think about my baby.  James is WAY more fun to think about.  I think about how being a working mom is a tricky beast.  I enjoy having some time away from James.  I like the adult interaction at my job.  Funny thing, though, because besides the other adults I work with, the patients I work with are babies.  I enjoy time away from taking care of baby James, so I go to work and take care of other peoples' babies.  Whatever.  It works for me.  I don't enjoy time away from James when I come home and hear he's had a rough day.  I speculate "If I was home with him today, he wouldn't have had a bad day."  There's no guarantee of that, but that's usually how I it goes in my head.

When I get close to my house, I roll down my window.  The weather isn't so oven-like hot anymore.  Especially in the evenings.  I enjoy the breeze briefly.  I turn into my apartment complex.  Almost home. That is one of the greatest feelings.  Being almost home.  A couple turns later, over three speed bumps and I'm pulling into a parking spot.  I gather my stuff from the passenger seat and crawl out of the car.  It will take most of my remaining energy to climb the two flights of stairs standing between me and my front door.  My legs never feel heavier than at that moment, trying to get up those stairs.  From the waist up, I can't WAIT to be home.  From the waist down, my body is in no hurry to get anywhere.

I put the key in the lock and open the door.  I hear no crying.  From Scott or the baby. :)  When I open the door, I see James asleep in his bouncy seat.  Scott says dinner is on the stove.  I breathe a sigh of relief.  I have a window of time to change clothes and eat dinner before James wakes up.

It's good to be home.

I'm linking up with Heather from The Extraordinary Ordinary for her Just Write exercise!


Little Miss Sunshine said...

Very nice....maybe one day you can piece all these chapters together in your book!!! Everyone has a book in them, because everyone has a story in them...that's why it's call his-story...

Galit Breen said...

Oh our minds- always on over-drive, yes?

{Do you like my play on the word "drive?" Hee! :)

I love the appreciation for home. We all deserve that!

Sarah said...

You are a fabulous writer. I was hanging on every word!

Heather EO said...

I love the train of thought. And my hat is off to you for all the hours you work!

kelly said...

oh, the long days you put in, BA - kudos to you! It makes me sad that you tell yourself that James would not have had a bad day had you been at home with him...I promise, that would not be the case!! Don't beat yourself up over something that couldn't be farther from the truth. You are a great mom and James is going to have a whole bunch of good days and bad days no matter what :)