When Amanda was a baby, Carrie yearned for routine, for knowing when to wake and when to sleep. In the chaos of new motherhood, she longed for a slot to cook dinner, to exercise, to breathe, to make love.
The routine came all too soon, the daily activities that varied little from week to week: Mondays, the park; Tuesday, play at home; Wednesday, story hour; Thursday, lunch at Grandma’s; Friday, playdate. And in each of those days, their own aching subroutines, the three meals a day with the handful of tolerated menus, the same three movies, two books, one cry.
She returned: to her friends, her hobbies, her work, to some semblance of the girl she’d been before Amanda, but always with the understanding that everything must fit, no matter how large and unwieldy, inside the tight buckets of routine—a time to play blocks, a time to read books, and even a tiny golden sliver to remember her freedom.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story appears in the 30 Days, 30 Writes 2009 chapbook, to be released at the end of October. The chapbook features more stories by Greta Igl, as well as stories by Jane Banning, Stephen Book and JC Towler. Please check the 30 Days, 30 Writes blog for more details and an invitation to participate in next year's writing challenge.
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