It’s crazy talk that it’s already October! The weather here has been awfully fitting for the season – cold, rainy, windy – but there’s still a part of me that is maybe stuck back in summer wanting more days of warmth and sunshine and the chance to get more projects done outside. Oh well! I’m also happy to be wearing sweaters and scarves and tall boots and drinking more tea and eating soup and anything pumpkin or squash-themed! (Zachary, on the other hand, cries when I make soup and questions my love, and is definitely NOT thrilled with food this time of year).
This weekend was insanely stormy and yesterday brought endless rain and high winds. I had my first music class of the year at a new Montessori school like I’ve lined up. Kayli and I left plenty early to drive up to my parents’ place (where she would hang while I went to teach). While driving we came across not a puddle, nay, but essentially a small lake, that was smack dab in the middle of my lane. I had no choice but to drive through it. I’m sad to admit that the first words out of my mouth were of the rather colorful language persuasion and THEN after that I switched to praying (sorry, God). Thankfully, Kayli didn’t repeat my words (I’m sure they’ll randomly be said sometime when least optimal….like she’ll loudly proclaim it during church), but she did say afterwards, “Woah, enormous car wash!”
My first days back at teaching are always a honeymoon stage. I was so happy to be back at it and these kids were so freakishly cute and well-behaved…of course, I have done this long enough, that I know that will likely change in the weeks ahead as they get more comfortable. But one little boy…oh. My. Goodness. I want to bring him home and put him on my shelf he was so stinkin’ cute. He was about three years old and was wearing a pair of corduroy pants. I’d noticed that they looked a little big and loose on him when we were up dancing for our first movement song. Afterwards, once sitting back down on the floor in our circle, I did a double take when I glanced over at him. There he was just happily chillin’, sitting on the floor in his little blue striped underwear. His pants were all the way down around his mid-thigh region and he couldn’t care less…or didn’t even notice…and no one else did either. When we stood back up for our next movement song, I made sure he got them pulled up, obviously, but the thought of him just chillaxin’ in his ‘roos in music class cracks me up.
I’ve spent more time this year – than any other – trying to line up additional classes. I called 27 Montessori schools (and either left messages or was politely turned down – either they already have a music enrichment program or they don’t have the space for one, etc.). I successfully landed this one new one and also had my same school from last year on the schedule…only to find out that the school that I was returning to can’t actually have me right now (they’ve been moving locations and a bunch of stuff is just up in the air for them). My plan for later this week is to a.) lock Kayli and I at home and potty train (a plan in which, I’ll admit, I’m not very optimistic seeing as she seems pretty darn stubborn and that she WILL be the one kid heading to kindergarten in three years in diapers) and b.) call every library within a twenty mile radius (and that’s quite a few, mind you) and try to line up some gigs there.
So, yesterday, I had my first day back at work, my one whopping music class. THIRTY whole minutes of work and after getting home to Mike and the kids I was questioning everything. How do families do this when both parents work full time? Granted yesterday was a little extra crazy – it was my first class, Mike has a deadline for work and is really stressed out, the weather made traffic so bad for Mike that I had to rush home to be sure one of us was at the bus stop for the boys and THEN I had to drive back up to get Kayli from Mom and Dad (so I had probably an extra hour of driving), both boys had had a rough day at school so they were a hot mess, plus Mondays – now that we’re into the school routine – is big homework night. The packets come home and we have everything for the week which is nice but also a little overwhelming. Anyway, I HAD rocked and gotten dinner going in the crockpot so at least I didn’t have to come home at 6pm and make food. But I felt like a failure. A failure as a ‘working’ parent (my whole WHOPPING THIRTY minutes of work) and a failure as a mostly-at-home parent. Lately, because I DON’T have music classes, I’ve been able to be home during the day to get dinner at least prepped, if not made, so that the short window after school of homework, dinner, playtime, family time, showers, bedtime, etc. isn’t quite so chaotic, but all I could think yesterday was: How do people do this?! And how will I do this??? Especially as the kids get older and homework gets harder and there’s more of it. Matthew’s already struggling to get it done as it is…and for crying out loud I struggle with some of his math and he’s only in fourth grade! How are we going to do this?! (When these panicky thoughts really started to freak my freak I realized that it was well after 5pm, so pouring that glass of wine DID take the edge off a little, but still…still!). How ARE we going to do this? It’s not even basketball season (for Zachary) or baseball season (for Matthew)…yet. We’re not doing swim lessons…yet. We don’t have three kids with homework…yet. We don’t even have a dog who needs to be walked...yet. How, pray-tell, do people do this? I need to do some research.
But this is life, man. I need to get on board. I need to figure this thing out. In the meantime, I’ll do what I know to do: be selfish and take care of myself so that I HAVE something to give to everyone else. I’ll go to Spin at the gym, get myself a sassy short haircut (and give up on this whole silly plan to grow it out…we’ll see) and get my first pumpkin latte of the season. Now THAT sounds like a day I – an apparently extremely self-absorbed person – can handle!