It was a happy swirl of all her favorite working mother things ….
She found out in the late afternoon that her younger daughter needed a dress. For a school event. The next day.
The school event was one of those crazy annoying “milestones” that people make up for kids now — the first / last / only time the kids would do XYZ, all designed to hit the parental guilt button pretty hard. Naturally, this important life marker was scheduled to occur in the middle of the work day.
And she knew right away she would not be able to attend.
Stopping to get the dress (or three, because her daughter could be picky – and because she absolutely needed to build in another errand to return the other dresses) made her late getting home. Where an avalanche of homework and other little requests and needs awaited her as well.
When she arrived, there was a cranky being sprawled on the couch begging for love and affection. And that was just the dog.
Her older daughter was also cranky and nesting on the couch. And sick.
She jammed cold food into herself and scrambled to re arrange the next day around the sick child. And paid extra special attention to the other child who was mopey about her mother’s absence at the superficially important school function the next day.
She scooted everyone into bed and paid all the bills and read all the mail and even tidied up a few random things.
She didn’t bother to change her clothes at all or even brush her teeth. She just collapsed into a fitful mess in the bed in her work clothes.
And when she woke up the next morning, she felt she had only momentarily closed her eyes in the time between her dreamless sleep and the next mini calamity that revealed itself at dawn.
Life hit the rewind button and she did everything all over again with minor variation. And she swore she saw Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil walk past her at the train station.