Wish You Were Here: 12 Across — The Opposite of Well

She misses “Wellness Wednesdays.”

We’re on our way to school, well, almost. It’s cold and gone are the days of who wears short shorts and “do you think I’ll get dress coded for this?” Hint: 11 Down on the Middlebrook Crossword: the opposite of “no”.

Yes, it’s officially coldish and in case you needed a refresher, she misses Wellness Wednesdays and not because she’s cold and doesn’t feel like schlepping out to the car. This is only a minor roadblock apparently on a very, very long list of reasons why she is now suddenly intent on idealizing something she generally spent most of her time complaining about.

Just to be clear, this wasn’t some occasional whining or “gee, golly, gosh, Mom … Zoom? Again?” But something more along the lines of Attila the Hun’s Army? Tribe? Barreling into the couch, kicking and screaming and possibly tearing some throw pillows from limb to seam followed by a heavy amount of sulking and crying, “it can’t be Wednesday! I hate Wednesdays! I hate school! Noooooo!” And finally the resignation as she’d slump herself onto that wiggle or wobble or whatever kind of stool that was supposed to help her focus but really just succeeded in a lot of “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moments.

But now it’s like the Hollywood version of some long forgotten time and she’s seriously reminiscing and I’m seriously trying not to run off the road while she generally glosses over all of her Atilla moments and altercations with those throw pillows and rewrites something so picturesque, so disturbingly mawkish that I start to wonder if maybe she’s on something. “Do they talk to you about drugs in school?”

“We have drugs in our school?”

“No. No, you don’t have … you don’t have drugs in your school,” I snap, wishing I had drugs, like the good ones, like some sort of epidural to get me through the next 18 years with these kids.

I’ll miss it. I know I will and I’m not going to get all sentimental or do my own rewrite here because between you, me and those throw pillows, I definitely feel like barreling into that couch, kicking and screaming on most days.

But instead I mutter. I’m a mutterer. Under my breath, to no one in particular I curse my own very, very long list of things that drive me (Hint: 12 Across: the opposite of well) and back. For the sake of brevity, in the absence of good drugs and to spare you from my attempt at creating a crossword (Will Shortz, you can definitely cross me off your list of viable contenders now), I will keep my itemizations not at all to the point and larger than the Roman Empire, which (hazy on the history here) but pretty confident old limb tearer maybe conquered?

My Wellness Wednesday Equivalent List

(Aka: “Things I Spend a lot of Time Complaining About & Will Likely Idealize Later…”)

  • Atilla the Hun
  • The hours I finally wasted watching “Stranger Things.” In fairness, I only got through five episodes, but seriously, how is it that anyone’s slept since 2016? I will never look at my wall or Christmas lights the same way, like ever again. Holy crap, man.
  • The one too many times I’ve come upstairs to find my younger daughter brushing the cat’s teeth with my toddler’s toothbrush. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for oral hygiene but um, somewhat impossible to unsee where that little cat tongue of hers has literally gone where no tongue should go, if ya know what I mean.
  • Throw pillows
  • Questions like, “Mom, do you think I’m ugly? I think I’m ugly. Do you think any boy will ever like me? I don’t think any boy will ever like me …” around 10:45 p.m. with the expectation that I will have something other than incoherent mumbling and drool as consolation.
  • The charmingly antiquated lock on our front door that takes two hands to open … especially charming while carrying the sleeping toddler I’m trying desperately to keep sleeping so I can sit in that Middlebrook car line for 20 minutes while he screams incessantly because guess what? He woke up.
  • My general lack, but knowledge of this thing they call “me time” that I’m still largely unclear about but am guessing am not in possession of, considering my last manicure happened around the time side parts and skinny jeans were hotter than 90210.
  • Zoom
  • Anything south of my neck … even if time is on my side, I’m relatively sure gravity is not.
  • Feeling like there’s never an hour, minute or second of the day when someone isn’t asking me to give them a ride, money, an alibi and yes, I see now how my children could easily be mistaken for criminals …
  • Remembering that we maybe had a couch once under all that laundry that continues to multiply like something out of a 1960’s horror film we’ll simply entitle Dial L for Laundry, because my daughters just think about wearing something or hold it for a brief moment in their hands before discarding it in the vicinity of the hamper, deeming it D for dirty.
  • Bribing, cajoling (and I know these kids think they have it rough but seriously, we went to school in the 80s) just to get in the ‘effing car, for the love of God and the sake of not having one more Tardy pass.

And just when I’m like, really is there anything worse than warming up my mom van on these cold mornings, forgetting to put the defroster on and inadvertently (almost) locking my keys inside, I remember …

  • Wellness Wednesdays.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.