Jenny Anne Mannan

American Songstress

Love Of An Orchestra

Yesterday was Monday. I woke up with lots of ideas about what I was going to do. I was going to get my house under control. I was going to catch up on the laundry. I thought of inviting one of my sisters-in-law over for coffee, because I've been so busy these last few weeks and have spent far too little quality time with my favorite people. I planned to read my kids a bunch of stories and maybe even bake some cookies with them. I meant to practice my fiddle. Oh and I was going to go for a run, because the sun is finally shining.

I didn't do any of those other things. Instead, I took my baby to see the doctor because after 4 days his cough is still going strong. I made sure his nails were trimmed (because I'm convinced of two things: 1) the whole world is judging my parenting, especially the pediatrician, and 2) they're using the trimness of my kids' nails to do it), and as I was going downstairs to dig out some clean clothes for myself and the baby, I dropped a full glass of milk on the floor. No big deal, I said, there's no use crying over split milk. I mean spilled milk. I sopped it up and stepped over at least 13 other messes on the way to get everyone dressed.

I finally got to the doctor's office, where after waiting for 20 minutes I found out that Waylon has an ear infection. Poor baby. All the fussiness and lethargy I attributed to teething and our erratic schedule were really because his poor little ear is inflamed and infected. But, I told myself, I can just run right up the hill and grab his meds at the pharmacy, drive through the bank on my way back to the house, get the other two kids, run out to the Valley to pick up Violet's soccer cleats from the cousins, come home and put everyone down for naps, get dinner going, then send Violet and Daddy off to soccer practice. Sure.

When I swung back by the house to get the other two kids, Caleb met me on the back porch with a box of steaks that had been in our freezer in the garage when one of the kids turned off the light switch and subsequently the freezer, leaving the meat to thaw and eventually spoil. What was that thing about spilled milk again? Does it apply to locally grown rib eyes and porterhouses? I didn't actually shed a tear as Caleb carried the box out to the trash, but I wanted to.

Up at the the pharmacy they didn't have all our information and while I was trying to sort it out, my older two kids decided to imitate a herd of cats. 45 minutes later we finally had the medicine, but not before the stress seeped into my voice and my sensitive little daughter said to me, "Mommy, why are you frustrated? We like you!" A few wrong turns later (I'm embarrassed to admit how often I make wrong turns. I'm pretty sure I get dumber every year.), I was at the cousins', where my kids reprised their role of A Group of Felines Personae and took off their shoes, dumped out the toy bins, and cried because they couldn't watch Johnny Quest or play the Wii. With my very capable sister-in-law's helping hands, I managed to hem them all up and buckle them in the car, then I stopped off at the coffee stand down the street where the cute coffee girl thought I meant to give her a $6 tip instead of just putting my change in the tip jar. I've never had a more George Constanza moment in my life. I actually corrected her and told her I only meant to give her $1.25. She was crestfallen, I was was very awkward. I may never go back to that coffee stand.

With the car finally headed homeward, this song came on. Violet, wise child that she is, asked me to turn up the music, and I did, and we all sang along. "So now in my deepest sorrow, there's no need for despair...I'm carrying all of the love of an orchestra, give me the love of an orchestra..." I took a deep breath. I felt happy and joyful. And pretty silly, honestly, about all the stress and the unrealized plans and the knot between my shoulder blades. "I know I'll never be lonely. I've got songs in my blood. I'm carrying all of the love of an orchestra. Give me the love of an orchestra..."


Copyright 2016, Jenny Anne Mannan. All rights reserved.