Truth be told, I’ve been too slammed with Mom-dom lately to be a good “mom blogger”. If you know me at all, you know I’m kind of hurling as I write that sentence, and I couldn’t make myself write the “my” part at the end. (I have no beef with blogging or mommys, just the two together curdle for me.)
It’s not the only part of the spectrum I’ve been neglecting- one could also say I’ve been a remiss shower-er, a lackadaisical mascara applier, and a woefully inadequate car-cleaner out-er. When you are the sole parent at home for five weeks to three kids and a puppy, things don’t fall by the wayside, they are chucked with wanton abandon and vigor, in the hopes of keeping the wagon on the trail.
On the up side, I’ve been a champion order-er of Chinese food, and our pizza delivery man asks me how the children are when he stops by.
And also cheery: the kids are generally clean and fed, albeit with take out more often than when we’re all five- and no one has been more than an hour late to anything, except that time I forgot one had school. (In my defense, I was looking at the wrong kid color on my Icalendar- I made those things in September!!! Who knows which kid is red anymore????)
Sometimes it does feel like the date on the calendar when I’m not the only grownup here is a dim, watery light at the end of a tunnel that we all just have to train our eyes to focus on. “HOW many more days?” The six year old asks hopefully at bedtime. And when I tell her, her face falls in a way it never did when she was smaller. Because now she understands how many days that really is, and how long they feel.
I know it’s not so bad. In our house, the grownups all love what they do. And the kids are proud of what we do. But sometimes, it just doesn’t make it any easier to not be all together more often. I know my husband is safe and playing music that we both love, and I’m so grateful that his band is still brick solid 20+ years later. I can only imagine how rare that is, and this is exactly what I signed on for when we got married almost ten years ago. I never expected it to be any different. I also couldn’t have predicted how it would feel to see my kids put forth a stiff upper lip. That’s the part that stings.
That’s all background to talk about the village- they’re the miraculous piece that I shake my head at when I stop to reflect how lucky we are. This morning, in the bleary rainy 7 am light, I opened my door to my father in law. He and my parents take turns picking up my big kid for the 15 mile drive to his bus stop every day, so we don’t have to wake the littles up so early. Then they trade afternoons doing the same, while I make the local rounds of two schools. And they cover the occasional evening, grocery shopping trip, or overnight if I can’t schedule a trip for when Hubs is home.
Before you start throwing “I hate you we don’t have that” comments at me, let me say- I KNOW. Oh my goodness gracious, I know. When I start to think of the precarious tightrope of all offspring being where they’re supposed to be at any given moment, and then retrieving them in a timely fashion regardless of DC traffic or the foibles of who has to go pee-pee right before we’re leaving (five minutes late already!)
DUDE. I know.
And on days like today, when I walked back up the stairs at 7:02 to collapse on the couch and wait for the littles to wake up- I imagine if I were in the car, dragging them along. If that was our only option. And if, on days like one last week, days when the tunnel seems really long and the light a false lantern, there was no one to call to spell me. I can’t say I was productive that day- I had the best intentions of many errands and real grocery shopping- but instead I mostly just roved through aisles of Spring shoes and told myself how quickly it would come.
To my Village: Our corner of the world would never, ever be the same without you, and I thank you eleventy twenty times plus eternity.
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