Every morning, Nick calls me to tell me how school drop-off went.
Sometimes the kids leave the house belligerent and they get in the car and sing songs or spell words, which is their newest form of entertainment. Jordan loves the hard words with sneaky letters. I can't even tell you how much "psychology" delighted him. So tricksy!
Jordan learned to read and spell with the same approach that's being used with India, so he will prompt her with sounds. It's lovely.
They're both in great moods when they're dropped off.
And sometimes we're all fine, and we had the right flavor of bagel and we didn't accidentally put jam when we know that India only likes butter on the odd days of the month except in months that start with A when the moon is full and Mercury isn't in retrograde.
Which is to say sometimes we have a harmonious morning and teeth get brushed and my daughter even brushes her hair and then all hell breaks loose on the way to school.
This is the rarer scenario. Typically some calamity befalls us at breakfast (see jam above) or during the shoe-putting-on portion of the morning. But then Nick manages to get them giggling on the way over.
He always calls to report and chat.
For the past couple months these calls have come as I'm either doing my veryveryfast walk to work, or jogging because I'm late or want to make a light.
I've come to realize that because I'm such a fast walker and such a slow runner, at this point I do both at about the same speed, and I look ridiculous either way.
In any case, Nick calls to check in and we talk about the kids and then at some point I say, "I've got nothin'" because the fact is that we saw each other right before we went to sleep and upon awaking, and really zero has happened that he doesn't already know.
This morning he didn't call me.
I was settled into work when I realized that he hadn't called.
He didn't call me. Why didn't he call me?
We hadn't fought, or even disagreed. Had I done something to annoy him?
It's true that I struggle in the mornings. And he got up and went to rowing practice and emptied the dishwasher and made breakfast and took the kids to school.
What did I even do? Got myself dressed and gave them vitamins.
I had to leave. I mean, not to be all Bangles about it, but I can't be late 'cause then I guess I just won't get paid.
I should've done more, though. Maybe he thinks I'm inadequate. Maybe I am inadequate.
It's true that I'm tired and crabby quite a lot, and it's likely that I think I'm more creative and funnier than I actually am.
Maybe it's all of these things and so much more and he just doesn't want to talk to me.
I could wait. I'll wait. I have lots of work do to. I'll wait and see if he calls and then I'll know if he's mad.
Except that I can't focus.
And actually, we're married. He's not some Match guy who suddenly went from emailing every day to silence. He's my husband. He might just be angry about...I don't know. Something.
He gets mad too easily. Why's he mad at me again? Yeah, well, I've got plenty of stuff I could be enraged about as well.
Or maybe he's not mad. No. They got in a terrible accident on the way to school. They're on the way to the hospital, and nobody has contacted me yet.
Oh my god, and here I've been all indignant about Nick being angry with me, when he might be on life support. I have to call right now.
I'll call Nick and then the school and then hospitals if I have to.
Nick answers immediately. "Hi love!"
He sounds happy. They're clearly still alive.
"Hi! How was drop-off?"
"Great! We got out late and had to hustle. I called around nine but you didn't answer."