I once spotted a friend of mine flaked out on her front lawn while her toddler daughter buzzed around her like a little demonic maniac. "How's the kid?" I called over to her. "Full of beans" my friend answered. "How are you?" I asked. "Empty of beans" she said.
J. and I have had one helluva year. We have been holding it together, but it has been a freaking marathon.
J.'s job is so involved he generally puts in a 60 hour minimum work week. We bought our first home. Our car started on fire. Our kids went from two years old to three years old. I was in three shows this past summer. J's mother came to live with us (and she is quite a handful.) We have worked continuously on contracts over and above our full time work and child and elder care obligations.
And now, we are empty of beans. No beans. We're beanless.
A week ago I drove for 10 hours to the ferry, and then took an hour and a half ferry trip, and then drove another 45 minutes to my parents' apartment. J. drove in tandem -me in our car while he drove a work vehicle. This is the first time I have left our Town (save s few short trips to the very nearby bigger towns) since October.
My parents' live in our old hometown - one of the most beautiful places in the world. We needed to be here for a work gig (auditioning actors for a contract we artistically direct). James had a few other meetings to attend, so we decided that once he'd finished with his road trip work he should head back home; but I wanted me and the girls to stay on with my parents for a while.
My parents (and my sister, who came over for a few days as well) have known for a while that my bean count was dangerously low. And they have decided to spoil me. It has been so, so perfect and so appreciated. I have been fed, taken shopping, told to go BY MYSELF down for a swim and sauna, we have gone for walks on the beach. The girls and I are in pampered heaven. This is exactly what I needed.
I don't think I quite knew how empty of beans I was until I got here. And now I am starting to feel recharged and rested. I don't think I've been able to apply those words to myself for over three years.
I love my tiny Town, but being back here reminds me all too acutely that it takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a really big village to raise twins, and there is no greater village than the one that includes a Grammy, a Grampa and an Auntie.
I have beans again. I'm not full of them yet, but a few beans should get me through the next stretch of this working parent marathon.