Kevin Devine (Photo by Matt Condon)

Kristen and I really like a musician named Kevin Devine. He looks like a composite sketch of all the Irish kids from the Bronx that I knew at basketball camp when I was a teenager: skinny, tough, sandy-red hair, and a wispy orange beard. He pairs sharp, smart lyrics with catchy hooks and the couple times we’ve seen him play live we’ve wondered how is this guy not more well-known? I’m not saying he has a chip on his shoulder about it, but he tours as Kevin Devine and The G-ddamn Band so perhaps that’s the case?

Naturally every time Kristen and I see Kevin Devine lookalike around town we race to come up with a clever nickname. Like one time in the supermarket we spotted Kevin Devine and the G-ddamn Iceberg Lettuce. Another time he passed us on the highway and it was Kevin Devine and The G-ddamn HOV Lane. It’s fun stuff so feel free to play along.
But when Kristen left for a five-day conference in San Diego last month the game playing was put on hold because A) I had to get these kids from a Monday morning to a Friday evening ALL BY MYSELF and B) playing the Kevin Devine game solo isn’t quite as much fun anyway.

I had a complex, too, because the week prior, Mrs. Harber relayed that Margo was tossed the Question Ball in morning CREW at school and had to answer whatever question her thumb was on: What is the worst punishment you ever had? Apparently my sweet daughter tossed back her head laughing and announced, “My parents are so lazy. They never punish us!” So as 50 percent of Team Lazy I wasn’t feeling all that confident I could handle all the household demands. And really if we are being completely honest, I may be closer to 40 percent.

Waking the kids for school is never easy but being the sole shepherd for the dressing, brushing, eating, packing and exiting the house is intense. And that’s got nothing on the evening slate. It starts with the traffic gauntlet I battle through to fetch both kids from their respective after-school programs. Then the dinner, homework, bathing and bedtime routines are crammed into a blitzkrieg two-hour window. And since I’ve already established that I’m being forthright, the bathing became pretty much optional until mommy got back….

Because it’s not just those tasks that need completing to keep the wheels turning around here. There are dishes to be done and laundry to be cycled through and lunches to be made for the next day. That week I was basically the taskmaster. I could have been sold on the QVC network for $19.99. And aack!!! what about the poor dog? She could use a walk, too. If the real Kevin Devine showed up at my door I wouldn’t even have had it in me to think of something clever. I’d probably have been like “Dude, do you like dogs?”

Kristen came home late Friday night to find me, the kids and the dog all piled into Margo’s bed. The house was still standing and the dishes were in or near the sink. The mountain of laundry was actually clean but we saved the folding for mommy. I didn’t want her to think the household runs better while she’s gone, right? That would be totally awkward.

Saturday night Kristen and I saw a fantastic band called Manchester Orchestra at the Tabernacle. The lead singer, Andy Hull, and a few other members have a side project called Bad Books with, you guessed it, Kevin Devine. We had hopes Kevin would make a guest appearance onstage, but that didn’t happen. As a consolation I’m sure we could have scanned the crowd and found Kevin Devine and The G-ddamn Something or Other but it didn’t matter. It just felt awfully good to be getting back to normal.

Tim Sullivan grew up in a large family in the Northeast and now lives with his small family in Oakhurst. He can be reached at tim@sullivanfinerugs.com.