Nadir. This is the word that comes to mind every day around 5:30 p.m.

Nadir (noun)

Astronomy the point on the celestial sphere directly beneath a given position or observer and diametrically opposite the zenith.

Astrology the point of a horoscope opposite the midheaven: the cusp of the fourth house.

the lowest point; point of greatest adversity or despair.

The nadir of my day is at pick-up. It’s when I’m at the lowest point of my physical and psychic energy, and so are my kids – so sometimes they weep and scream about the exceptionally low quality of the snacks I bring (though they are the exact snacks they liked the day before, the exact snacks they will wolf hungrily in like two minutes) and our walk home is not like an arduous journey through the mountains. It’s a ten-minute walk on flat sidewalk.

The part that I find hardest though is the other parents. For some reason, other parents seem to have energy at that point, and want extensive gabbing time while I’m barely able to grunt. I always leave with a sense that I have hurt someone, or offended or disappointed. There’s definitely a sense where the other person is needing more, and I’m like why so needy? Am I supposed to text them and apologize? Email a message like “sorry, can’t with humans right now”?

Maybe I can just wear a mask at pick up with a face with the eyes open.

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