by Margaret Stephenson
Today I wake to a depressed mood again. Not one where I can’t function, but the walk to the kitchen to make breakfast for the family is slow and the air pushes against me. The windows are open and I glance at the deer by my porch, wondering why the dogs have decided to ignore them.
Walking past the kitchen, I’m drawn to the kids’ new guinea pigs. I sit for a few minutes watching all three of them: Wilson, Simon, and Darwin. They are so little still; only 22 days old. They’re scared of me, I think, so I grab some baby carrots and alfalfa hay to show them I’m safe.
They huddle together in a corner where they don’t think I can reach them. I talk to them quietly until Simon is brave enough to come to me for a nibble. He runs up to the guinea pig loft to eat his treats while Darwin and Wilson squeak below.
I forget about my family’s breakfast. My husband wakes up and finds me with the guinea pigs. He says, “you just love those guinea pigs!” I say, “no, I don’t really, I just like sitting here with them.” I don’t have strong feelings for the piggies, but they are cute and little and seem to be getting brave and confident. They’re interesting to watch and I forget about my mind for a while.
My head aches on one side and it has all night. I reluctantly take some Advil and sit on the couch with my computer, checking Facebook and email. I check email to make sure nothing really important needs my attention: bills, classes, a favorite friend. Nothing. Just coupons for Kohls, J.C. Penney, Old Navy. And notices for new homeschool classes and an invitation to a kids’ Shakespeare play.
So I snuggle with my Facebook friends; I am an observer. I will often commit to a “like” on cute photos; rarely I will “like” a status update. It takes a lot for me to post on Facebook, but sometimes I do. Usually after a cup of tea and an unexpected burst in mood. I wonder too much about what people will think about my statement; will they “like” it, ignore it, or wonder who I am? Will friends of friends comment on my comment? Will it be nice, will it be confrontational? Facebook takes a lot out of me.
My husband leaves for work. I hear my son’s feet as he wakes up and runs to the computer to play Minecraft before anyone can tell him not to. “Can we go to the craft store today?” asks my middle daughter. My teenager comes out of her room, showered, dark eye make-up, ready for voice lessons and her theater internship. Giggling and singing fill the house; I get to work–breakfast needs to be made.
Margaret is mother to three amazing kids who learn in the real world as they homeschool together. She loves to write about her kids, emotions, and the moments that make up her life.