I woke up this morning in the darkness and methodically mixed formula as I gazed out on a sodden morning untroubled by bright rays of sunshine. All was shadowed. Dripping. No friendly warmth, only cold and wet and sleeping world, safely tucked up in bed while I shivered.
I climbed back into bed 15 minutes later while the Possum slurped his way to sleep and half slept until I was paged for my regular Saturday morning taxi service to ballet. I tried to feel enthusiastic about washing my hair and dressing but couldn't manage it, and stumbled out of the house clean and smelling nice, but with wet straggly hair and not even moisturiser on my terrible sleep deprived and stressed skin.
I didn't even realise how utterly miserable I looked until I saw myself in the mirror while helping the Monkey in one of the children's bathrooms as I lifted her to wash her hands. I looked haggard. At least 5, but more like 10 years older than I am. Hair half dried, stringy, half wavy, mostly frizzy. My skin looking old and tired and battered. I recoiled from the mirror.
We got home from ballet and the Elfling went off to the toothfairy (to my shame) to have a shallow hole in her tooth filled. She was apparently very brave, and the composite filling is completely not visible in her beautiful mouth, but I feel a bit of shame about it. Especially as I have no holes in my own teeth. We've always been pretty good about brushing, but obviously not thorough enough. /end segue
Anyhow, I stood in front of the mirror looking at my sallow skin and boring clothes and shuddered. Washed my hands, blinked slowly and waited to see recognition of the face that I know is there somewhere instead of this old tired stranger. Stripping out of my boring functional clothes to my underwear and deciding on starting the day all over again. Doing my hair quickly, putting on the tiniest bit of makeup and wrapping a scarf around a bright silky top while pulling on my boots.
I looked in my full length mirror this time, and while certainly not going to break any hearts I had the tiniest bit of sparkle about my person (we can't all transform into swans) and I just felt my mood lift. Felt the grey coolness of the day seep in and prickle instead along the blood.
We headed into the city and walked out into the misty sleety weather speckled with innumerable bright coloured umbrellas and I felt instantly cheerful. The spray of cool wet across my face and the insistent slap of wind as it raced under and over the bridge as we crossed it. By the time we reached the mall my shirt was wet and plastered to my skin and I knew my face was starting to radiate. Could feel the warmth in my cheeks and eyes.
We did some shopping and ended up sitting in a coffee shop while rain pelted the plate glass windows and I loved it. Loved the colour against the grey, the coolness and the dampness and the cluster of patrons crowded in the cafe. The noisy hum of people seeking shelter and the smell of roasting coffee beans and all day breakfasts.
I loved that I had a Saturday to sit with my babies and play with them and drink and eat and relax. To feel that frisson of relaxed energy that pervades on a proper weekend.
Came home and lay on my bed listening to the rain pour down and watched as the sun set under the clouds in a golden fireball.
It was a beautiful day.