Sunday night. Remember? I do. Even now, Sunday nights have a different feel than any other time of the week. When I was a child, Sundays were big deals. Mornings at church, followed by sports on TV, and a roast for dinner. Some Sundays, my dad took the kids up to WSU to Smith gym where the swimming pool was open to the public. We were great swimmers in our family--my youngest sister learned to swim before she learned to read, before she ever set a foot inside a school. In fact, my mom went to bat for her to get to take lessons--when she was too small to even touch the bottom of the pool. But she was fearless...
Anyway, by the time we got home, still wet-headed and smelling like chlorine, the Sunday dinner was hot and smelling far better than we were. Roast, potatoes, the ubiquitous frozen vegetable--spinach, broccoli, or (please, say it isn't so!!) peas--either on their own or with carrots. Many a time I had to flush down peas with my milk, or try to spread them around on my plate in order to make it look like I'd actually eaten more than I had. It wasn't a very successful tactic, but I wasn't a quick learner when it came to peas. And far too often I was still at the table staring at those awful green pebbles after everyone else had left.
Later, Dad would pop popcorn, Mom would slice some apples, and we'd settle down in front of the television in our pjs to watch Wide World of Disney. It was practically the only TV show all week that was actually for children--at least that's what my memory tells me. And it was 'must-see' TV in our house.
All of these things were part of the magic of childhood for me. But Sunday nights, even after a great day, had a unique feel. A feeling of dread. Friday and Saturday nights we got to stay up a little later, but Sunday night was a school night. A school night, with all the dread I'd ignored all weekend piling up as I tried to sleep. I loved school, I really did, but that dread was real too. Remember? I suppose it was the sense that I wasn't free to do whatever I wanted to, was on someone else's timeline, had responsibilities (to get my work done, not talk to my neighbor, color within the lines, keep my desk clean).
But also a feeling of hope. The chances ahead. Playing with friends I hardly saw over the weekend, maybe finally doing two whole twirls around the bare on the playground or a flip over the horse in gym. Getting to the next chapter in the book a teacher was reading--Johnny Tremaine, Charlotte's Web. There was always something ahead to look forward to, and always a feeling that I couldn't wait.
When my children were little I used to tell them that school was their job. That they were learning things in school that would serve them all through their working lives. I didn't mean the actual education...I meant things like respect for authority, working hard--doing their best, being fair and kind to other students--fellow employees--no matter how they were treated. Learning to act justly and lovingly early on would impact how they'd be in out in the workforce.
They dreaded Sunday nights, too, of course. And because Beve is an educator, and I was too, we still live in that rhythm. Staying up a little later Friday and Saturday, but back in the rhythm Sunday evening. Beve's often exhausted Sundays from all that he's tried to pack into the weekend. This one, for instance, he did some weeding, and mowed several lawns. And while he was up on a metal step-stool, painting trim around the windows out back, he lost his footing and fell right into the stool, then down onto the sidewalk. When he came into the house, he said, "I think I broke some ribs." By the look of the horrible bruise on his belly, I wouldn't be a bit surprised, though, of course, he didn't get it checked out. I mean, what would they do for him, anyway--besides give him pain meds! He just walked around all weekend, gritting his teeth against the pain, barely able to sleep last night. So tonight, Sunday night, he's even more exhausted--and gets to face the week this way. Ah, Beve.
So Sunday night: facing the week. All the hopes and possibilities. All the fear and dread. We never know where the week will take us, do we? Beve never knows who will walk through his office door, sit down and spill their guts. But there's so much out there just waiting. And after all, we don't walk alone into the dreadful Monday. Just imagine where He might put you tomorrow. Maybe it'll be the day I finally make it three circles over that bar. Maybe I'll get to go home with someone for lunch. Maybe someone will tell me a story that I can hardly wait to hear. So happy Sunday night. Have a hope-filled Monday.