Four months into a new relationship, into a new day care year, into my first school year with none of my children living at home, three months from my daughter deciding where she’ll go to college, four from her high school graduation, six months from my son’s wedding, I’ve got a lot to think about.

One week ago I heard from Smith, good news if I count the acceptance and scholarship and financial aid. Tricky news if I think of all the change they might precipitate.

Sunday I had dinner with my framily, my new guy, my daughter home unexpectedly for the weekend, her brother, his fiancé. We laughed and talked over bowls of veggie chili and corn muffins and I sent leftovers home.

Today and yesterday the children were delightful. At the park they filled buckets with mud. Poison for everyone! For the witches. Wood chip soup. Inside they played and built. We made a sign: Hello in many languages. We know thirteen. The children gathered round. They wrote their names and each other’s names. We made another sign. Workers only. Construction site. Then we cleaned up and sang the hellos to one another in turn around the circle, one child in my son’s lap, one in mine, the other eight filling in the gaps between us.

For lunch there were banana pancakes my son made. Yesterday he drove my daughter and his fiancé to the Bernie rally in Vermont. I heard about it early this morning before we opened the door for the children.

Tonight I was at a meeting where mid year I began to find myself at ease in a new role, where I accepted compliments bashfully and smiled and called on people who raised their hands to talk.

My boyfriend left this morning saying he might be back tomorrow, not Thursday as I expected. I asked why. He said because he’d miss me.

For dinner last night we ate scallops over orzo with capers and tomatoes and white wine and fresh oregano. On Friday night we had an argument. On Saturday I came home from dinner with my friends to find him in bed with his cookbook. On Sunday he showed up with flowers and a bag of groceries.

How can I leave this life, I ask myself, as my mind races and races, and how can I say no?

A day or two ago I started a book I read about in the New York Times last Monday as I escaped the news in Iowa, Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offil. Tonight after the meeting, along with a bowl of my granola with strawberries, I finished it.

She makes me want to be a writer, to tell about motherhood, marriage, work and love, womanhood, life, with the tenderness and wisdom and intelligence that she does. So much to give up, so much to give, to do it, she reminds us. I feel lucky that she has.

For now I just want to read and read her. Weather, her most recent book, arrived today. It’s going to be hard not to stay up too late to read it. Wish me luck.