“What’s the big deal about Friday?”
As a child, I wondered why people said “TGIF.” I enjoyed going to school where I could read, learn new things and earn A’s. Yes, I was that kid. The satisfaction I derived from the academic part of school was enough to mitigate the consequences of my social awkwardness. For this version of me, Friday night meant hoping there was a good show on one of the three networks, reading the TV Guide to make sure it wasn’t a repeat, and looking forward to hours of Saturday morning cartoons, reruns or not.
In high school, my fall Friday nights were spent playing in the marching band at football games. I anticipated bus rides to exotic locales like Rittman, Doylestown and Smithville. TGIF meant fitting in. What should I wear? The same Columbia blue and gold wool uniform as everyone else. Where would I sit? In the reserved section of the bleachers with one hundred of my closest friends.
In college, Friday was the stick by which I measured my self-esteem. Meals at a table for one in the dining hall along with hours alone in study carrels and practice rooms equaled self-loathing. Invitations to parties or to hang out in friends’ dorm rooms meant people liked me, they really liked me. Only then did I TGIF.
Degree in hand and wedding ring on finger, the young, professional version of me finally could commiserate with working stiffs everywhere and join their refrain of “TGIF!” Fridays were for swapping anecdotes with colleagues over drinks, checking out a new restaurant with my husband or a spending a comfortable evening at home staying up as late as I wanted knowing I didn’t have to go to work again until Monday.
The divorced/remarried/working mom version of me doesn’t spend Friday worrying about what’s on TV, if I’m popular or where I’ll spend happy hour. My definition of an ideal weekend has evolved.
Take last Friday as an example. That morning, I had to urge Philip out of bed before I left for work. He had awakened in the middle of the night, but fallen right back to sleep. I wasn’t so lucky. As Philip transitions out of afternoon naps, his sleep schedule has been consistently inconsistent. A layer of fatigue coated my work day. I was busy, but mostly with the tedious job of folding letters and stuffing envelopes. I drove home with a headache.
I walked into the house and was immediately greeted by Philip. He pulled me down to his level so he could wrap me in a bear hug. After he pressed his hand onto my cheek while staring into my eyes, he raced off to play. Then, as I made supper, he would come into the kitchen to tug me by the hand to the couch. Once there, he maneuvered me until I was laying down on the sofa where he could climb on top and press his cheek against mine.
I no longer had a headache.
After Peter, Philip and I enjoyed a simple meal of bacon and eggs, I took the boys for a walk. Any tension from work remaining in my body eased as I grasped Roscoe’s leash in my left hand and held Philip’s hand in my right. How could I not help but smile as Philip walked, skipped and galloped beside me? How could I not cherish my time with my ever-curious son as he examined cracks in the sidewalk, watched cars whoosh by, dug in the mud with his fingers or collected and arranged leaves, berries, seeds, twigs and rocks on the path? How could I worry that our pace was slow, when the weather was perfect for a leisurely evening stroll?
By the time we got back home and Philip quenched his thirst, it was bath time. After washing pollen out of his hair and dirt from under his fingernails, it was time for pajamas and cuddling under the blanket to watch Curious George. Philip had not taken a nap, so he was soon asleep beside me.
I moved him to his bed and then laid down in my own. I thought ahead to the weekend activities I had planned with both Philip and Peter. One of my last thoughts before I fell asleep at 8:30 pm and enjoyed the first night of uninterrupted sleep that I’ve had in a month was “TGIF.”
Why do you TGIF?
Linking up with the yeah write #108 Weekend Moonshine Grid. If that isn’t a reason to say “TGIF,” I don’t know what is.