Hey. Long time no see. Yes, I know that you six regular readers have been waiting with baited breath for me to post something new, constantly refreshing your browsers to see what new pearl of wisdom I have to offer. Now come on, you faithful six. You have to comment — I need to feeeeel the lurve.

Today. Well today, all three of my children are in school all day for the first time. Wheeeeeeeee!

Someone asked me, “Wow, is this kind of bittersweet?”

Um, no. More sweet-sweet. Don’t get me wrong. I have a bit of melancholy about the way my two first graders ran into the school building with barely a glance backward (after a quick and I mean quick hug and kiss from mom and dad). I can reflect on how quickly — in some ways — the last decade has passed, and how each step my kids take these days is essentially a step away from me.

But it’s good. It’s how it’s supposed to be — this is, after all, why we rear our kids — so they grow up and become independent beings capable of running up those school stairs all by themselves. I have been with these kids their whole lives, so I’m cool on pawning them off sharing them with others for six hours a day.

And the time! Oh the time, time, time, time…I will have to find my new routine. But I know that it will contain vast unbroken stretches to work on my book. And maybe nap. And plan cool meals. And clean the toilets (not that I haven’t cleaned the toilets in a decade, but hey, you’ll be able to eat off my toilets now that they’re all in school). And this morning get my hair cut and colored. And then lunch with another summer surviving mom.

I adore toddlers and love to hold people’s babies. Because I get to give them back to their parents.

Just like the school will give me back my terrific kids at 3:30. I’ll be ready to give them each a hug and a snack, and I can’t wait to hear about their days. Really, they’re my three favorite people in the world.

And tomorrow I get to send them back. As Rob would say, “Sweeeeeet.”

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Let’s play pretend…

August 8, 2007

Just to preface, this is all hypothetical. Mmmkay?

Say you were, oh I don’t know, picking your female offspring up from oh, let’s say Harry Potter Day Camp. You motivate your other children into the car (translation: you scream, “Shoes, shoes, shoes! We have to go! Now!” You speak in a lot of explanation points in this hypothetical situation.) You trudge across the sweltering parking lot, with one chattering child and one sullen one — sullen because for some reason unknown to man or beast, he was up half the night last night.

You are not at your best.

As you stand in the rec center waiting for your offspring to change out of her swimsuit — one child sullenly leaning against the wall, arms folded while the other child tries out his new “heelies” (yes, hypothetically, if your child had “heelies,” you would be a tool. Yet, based on past history, perhaps this shouldn’t surprise you) — a lovely, fit, nice-haired woman walks up to you and puts out her hand and says, “I knew I recognized you from somewhere!” In this absolutely unreal situation, know that hair is everything.

Because you? Well, maybe, just maybe you fell asleep on the couch while your boys watched some television drivel. So maybe your hair is…well let’s be kind and say, “matted,” why don’t we? And perhaps you forgot to use a brush before you left to pick up your daughter. And really, would some eyeliner or lip gloss have killed you? And sure, you could have foregone the chocolate cereal bar that probably left crumbs in the enormous corners of your mouth. But no. And yes, you definitely would have taken the leftover narcotics prescribed by your doctor after your minor fender bender last week. Because, honestly, any sense of well-being, false or otherwise, might benefit you here.

But as it is, you stand adrift with a woman you haven’t seen since your daughter’s playgroup days nine years ago. And she looks splendid. Not a day older. You feel like Methuselah. And then, as icing on the cake, your daughter loses her glasses, which gives you time to reflect on how wrinkly you look after napping on the couch. And to wonder if you should have put on extra deodorant. You might also have time to wonder just how many people from those days of your life that this woman is still in touch with.

She is lovely. Warm. Friendly and funny. And maybe, not as shallow as you? You hope.