As a kid, I could do without Sundays. I often felt bored on Sundays, from the start of eleven o'clock mass in the morning to the witching hour of 6 in the evening, when Life Goes On, that heart-wrenching drama whose pilot episode made me so sad I can still vividly recall the very scene, came on. Sunday nights were the worst, of course, with an entire week of school looming over me and my freshly-painted fingernails.
When I became a teacher, Sundays became even more powerfully bittersweet, as I watched the hours of my precious weekend sink with the sun, my lessons still under-planned, my papers only half-graded. The inevitable threat of Monday morning and all its attendant pressure to perform tainted even the sweetest, sit-by-the-river-afternoons.
But now that my full-time job is Mother, now that my flexible freelance writing and tutoring schedule permits (or rather, forces) me to work when Mallory's sleeping, Sundays are no longer the downer they used to be.
Sunday mornings are for chores, the kind I love. While M lays on the floor with Mallory, I wash the dishes, scour the sink, and start a load of laundry. Then, while M makes French toast and coffee, I hold Mallory in one arm and with the other, make the bed and wipe the counters. We eat while she scoots about underfoot, licking the wood floor.
I hang our clean wet clothes in the just-peeking-out sun and vacuum the bedroom floor. M takes over and moves into the living room while I do some dusting. He takes Mallory outside to water the garden (one of her favorite activities) and I sweep the front porch. I find an old pair of sandals to set out by the Giving Tree.
By noon, the house is clean, the sun is burning hot, and Mallory is down for her nap. I do some free-to-make-mistakes writing until she wakes up. After lunch, we crack the windows, light a stick of incense, and head out to Target, where we buy delightfully satisfying things like toothpaste and ice cube trays. We take a walk in a different neighborhood than the ones we're used to. The hours move slow.
I don't dread the end of the day. At a birthday party later on, I don't worry about the fading light or think about all that I have to get done before I go to bed. Instead I linger, chatting with friends. When we get home, I feed Mallory bananas, then take her into the warm shower with me. M gets her ready for bed while I fold the last of the crisp dry laundry. Mallory falls asleep on my lap while I read. And just like that, Sunday becomes my new favorite day of the week.