Monday mornings were Ruth’s favourite morning of the week. While everybody dreaded getting up, getting dressed and heading off to their busy day – her husband to work the boys to school – she would stand in the window and wave happily as they left after the long weekend of busy life. She would smile and dance and be silly – waving enthusiastically,
As they drove away. She would not leave the window until no one could see each other any longer.
After they were out of sight she would grab the last cup of coffee in the pot, curl up under a blanket on the big sofa in the picture window and stare at the mountains. Ruth would sit quietly and relax and enjoy that last cup of coffee as she contemplated her day and the week ahead. This is when she came up with some of her best ideas. Or sometimes sitting and relaxing for so long Ruth would fall back asleep. A little Monday morning catch-up of a cat nap.
Ruth even had a special pair of PJs that she put on on Sunday night. Because she knew the next day she wouldn’t get dressed at all until it was time to leave for pick up at school.
Monday mornings were the most decadent morning of her week. It was all about her. She would consider scheduling in things like exercise or baking or projects around the house. Inevitably something would come up that would keep her too busy to get it all in. But she had all the best intentions.
If a Monday morning was a holiday and the family were home then the second best day of the week became Tuesday. For all the same reasons. But the home would be messier after an extra day of family hanging around.
After getting up from her Monday morning slumber Ruth would walk around the house gathering up all the little bits and pieces that had been lying around. Discovering bowls with spoons containing anything from ice cream to cereal – whatever the boys could basically fit into their stomachs after dinner and before bed. Crumbs from chips and cookies were everywhere. Sock’s!! Dozens of abandoned socks on the floor, under the sofa in the bed m, wherever the boys were when they decided that their feet needed socks no longer. None of them matching. But definitely always dirty and smelly. Wet towels of course were a regular find. Sometimes she would find an abandoned lunch from the Friday before stuffed in the closet or in a basket. After a while there would be a smell and Ruth would have to go searching only to find mouldy sandwiches and fruit that should have been discarded a month or more ago.
Ruth detested making any appointments for Mondays. And definitely she didn’t like to go shopping or even leave the house. You would almost think she was a shut in on a Monday. Rarely going outside the front door for the six glorious hours that she had to herself. Nothing was permitted to enter the home. She didn’t watch television, nor listen to the radio or music. She passed the silence of the day in her own thoughts. If by chance an appointment must be made on a Monday Ruth would become extremely crabby. She would do anything to not have an appointment on Monday. Often calling to cancel for various reasons at the last minute. She would apologize profusely but it just couldn’t be helped one of the children was home sick. Or she’d forgotten another appointment that she already made and couldn’t get out of.
Her husband hinted that he might start working more out of the house. Ruth shuddered at the thought of him being home on Monday. So she suggested Wednesdays and Fridays might work. Those were the days that she was out running errands and checking things off the list that she made earlier in the week. But without actually saying no you can’t be home on a Monday she just hinted about the type of schedule she lead and how it would interfere with all the work that she had to do after the weekends. No one needed to know about her Monday morning naps or the length of time that she sat doing nothing but sipping a cup of coffee.
Nothing, sweet nothing. Il dolce far niente (The sweetness of doing nothing.)She read about this concept one day and it immediately resonated with her. She’s been living this sweet nothing time for several years but it was nice to have a phrase or a term for it. It would give her an argument as to why her time on Monday mornings had to continue. It was a necessity. She needed it for her own mental health and for the health of her family.
If Monday was a rainy or snowy day it became an even better day for Ruth. Because she had no guilt that she stayed in the house all day. A sunny day meant that Ruth would have extreme guilt over not going out and enjoying the sunshine and the smell of the flowers and the grass etc. Far better to have Monday be gloomy and dreary and a good reason not to leave.
Yes Monday mornings were Ruth’s favourite time of the week. And then one day it all stopped.
Ruth would happily give up all the Monday mornings before and after. To have her family around her and make noise and make messes. To have her husband home pacing around while he talked on his cell phone. Or listen to the clicking of his keyboard on his laptop as he worked from the kitchen table. She’d happily bring him tea and bake him cookies and listen to his dissertation of the last call that he just had despite the fact that she’d heard every word.
Ruth would give anything to connect with her family and wave again. Monday mornings became a dread. No socks to clean, no dishes to do, no plans to make.
And the silence. The silence was deafening. It was no longer six hours but 24/7. Where she once made a concerted effort for silence from outside noise, she now would play the radio and the TV at the same time just to drown out the silence. Anything but silence now. In fact anything but home now. Even though she wasn’t living in the same house she couldn’t stay alone. Monday morning she would jump out of bed – sometimes in the dark of the morning – and get dressed and get out of the house. Her volunteer efforts kept her busy but she always made a plan to volunteer on a Monday morning. Where once she would never leave the house, now she just couldn’t stay.
If only she knew that was the last wave. The last dance the last kisses blown – the last silence – if only.