The Wizards of Awesome
“As they passed the rows of houses they saw through the open doors that men were sweeping and dusting and washing dishes, while the women sat around in groups, gossiping and laughing.
What has happened?' the Scarecrow asked a sad-looking man with a bushy beard, who wore an apron and was wheeling a baby carriage along the sidewalk.
By the time I stepped into the house after two whole days of hustle and irresponsible bustle I was so beat, so completely fatigued that I barely managed to carry Zoey to her bed. On the drive home first Zoey fell asleep, and then Maggie, and as I peeked in the rear view mirror I could see June's head bob. I shook my head to rattle something loose enough to keep me awake. It was just 3pm. Two days of family and friends can burn a guy right to the ground.
When I finally found a bed of my own it took almost no time for two hours of sleep to usher itself in. When I woke June had both Maggie and Zoey with her downstairs. The girls were watching Monsters Inc. and waiting patiently for the start of The Wizard of Oz. Who knows how long June had entertained the girls, but as she did so she was also rooting through box after box of baby clothes...things that we had packed away from when Zoey was small. She had laundry started and had eaten already. I was barely awake as I stumbled downstairs. I don't know how she does it so gracefully. I don't know how any of you (women) do.
I was a poor example of fatherly attention this afternoon, and perhaps more so because there was June, assuming the role of wide awake parent. My God, anything could have happened under my coma-like watch. June held off the hordes of impossible dangers while Dad slept. More often than not I don't know where the predominant caregiver finds their...ahem, her...energy.
We'd spent the night with family first, and then slipped out late to celebrate a friend's fortieth birthday. We didn't get in until 3am. We left Maggie with grandparents and Aunts and Uncles, and we indulged our sentimental sides by lingering over long laughs in the kitchen of the Port Lambton Hall, a brick and tile floor reminder of a million youthful skirmishes with fun from the time we were old enough to defile ourselves. I woke at 7am with Zoey. June woke at least once before that with Maggie. Together we didn't total a full eight hours of sleep. We stumbled through brunch, then tripped over another visit with more grandparents, and by the time the middle of the afternoon found us we were fractions of our former selves. It made perfect sense that I might collapse out of sheer exhaustion. It makes no sense how June could manage not to.
I don't know how many times I can tip my cap to the women in my life, but I figure as soon as they stop confounding me I'll stop acknowledging their efforts. My God, don't you need sleep? It's ridiculous.