Spent the midday running errands with N while B stayed home with C -- We made it to Target and Publix both, getting almost everything we needed. We even made it to the Easy Mail to send a package to Reina in CA (it's the Yes shirt, that I thought I sent last year, but I just found it in the closet when I was cleaning. On its way to you, though very slowly...).
Aside from a few Emergency Milk Meals as we shopped, it was a very chill and successful (though slow -- so slow) trip, and I found myself running into a particular feeling over and over again, like the corner of the kitchen table that sticks out too far and keeps catching your hip no matter how hard you try to avoid it. It was the feeling produced when Interior Monologue shouts to me, "YOU MUST BE FORGETTING SOMETHING." And yes, it's in all caps. It's a feeling of sick panic, like realizing four hours after you leave home that perhaps you did not turn off the oven, or the coffee pot, or that possibly you forgot to respond to that email from your faithful client. Panic, with a tinge of hope that everything still might be okay. It happens to me a lot lately, as I find that taking care of two kids is somehow easier than taking care of one used to be, and then I think that surely it is because I MUST BE FORGETTING SOMETHING. Except I'm not.
Still, the internal alarm keeps sounding, and I have to repeatedly review lists in my head -- all the bills have been paid, the laundry is in the dryer, here is baby N right here, and C is home with B, so they are okay. The car runs, the food is in the fridge, so what is there to panic about?
Chilling out and accepting the blessing of peace when it comes is harder than it might seem. I don't crave chaos, but I am certainly used to it; part of me does feel kind of wrong when there is no crisis to solve.
Instead of putting out fires, the challenge now is just to go about my daily business, keeping cheerful and not freaking out, even (and especially) when there is nothing to freak out about. Or, to be more faithful to the rules of English grammar: when there is nothing about which to freak out.