Taxes, leather briefcase, slurping coffee grounds out of a faded travel mug. Bitchy bosses and long meetings. Cubicles. A framed picture of the family propped up next to a bowl of peppermints. Working 12-hour days and coming home grumpy. Trying to remember anniversaries. Signing forms, paying bills, waiting for Friday to come around. Armchair with food crumbs and Kool-Aid stains. Listening to screeching violin practicing after an annoying day at the office. Trying to get on the treadmill every once in a while. Weight Watchers frozen dinners. Reluctantly giving up a few minutes of peace and quiet for a neighborhood barbecue.
Minivan with a “I love my honor student” bumper sticker, corny “Parent MVP” tee shirt from the middle daughter’s elementary school band fundraiser. PTA meetings, community bake sales, watching the little one’s painfully terrible soccer games. Helping the oldest settle into his first day of middle school. Getting concerned calls from English teachers–“your son’s poetry was distressing.” Cooking soupy casseroles, staying up late finishing laundry, phone ringing constantly. Homeowner’s association, chit-chat with the neighbors. Mopping up vomit, trips to the doctor, band-aids, tissues, cough syrup.