After a glorious (still sock-less) weekend in Vermont it's been a week of needs. Everyone here seemed to need more than their usual share of mothering or partnering. During times like these I often feel exhausted and depleted. Today I feel strangely energized by it. In some way it's empowering to know that when the pressure is on I can get everyone to the finish line.

Quinn is learning to walk and seems both excited and confused by his new independence. At the same time he wants to be left alone to test it out and held constantly.

Jake has been preparing for a big show (more on that in another post) all week. His emotions are running high and has wanted to talk about everything. I've seen melancholy glimpses of my boy when he was smaller and wanted more of me, but as he grows the questions get harder and harder. Often I don't have the answers and philosophical conversations about the meaning of life ensue.

To say that Niall is under pressure at work would be an understatement. He hasn't been home to put Quinn to sleep all week and this morning (it's Saturday) he was up and out the door before seven. What that means for me (and it is all about me, right?) is that I don't have my support system available. I usually use up my own energy sources during the day (and night) as a mom, but refill them during quiet time with Niall (and sleep of course). Without him available, I've been forced to replenish on my own.

I'm not much of a housekeeper. If you think I'm being modest, you're wrong. Sometime during my five years as a single mother of a small child I gave up on perfectionism. I decided what was important to me and prioritized the day's chores accordingly. Cleaning was at the bottom of the list. Meeting Jake's needs was first and meeting my own needs was second and taking care of the house ran a distant third and there never seemed to be enough hours in the day to get there. I learned that I was happier if I was rested and the house was messy so the house is often messy. Everything that needs to get done (usually) gets done. Everyone has clean clothes. Everyone is fed. And this week their extraordinary needs were met. And I feel accomplished. And tired. And today I've gotten a babysitter to come and watch them and I'm going to pet sheep and ogle llamas and fondle yarn. Rheinbeck sheep and wool festival, here I come — It's mommy-time!