Today was one of those days.
You know the kind. The one where you sit at a green light far too long contemplating turning right or keeping straight. The kind when you thank the waiter for refilling your glass of water at least 45 seconds after they've walked away. The kind when even the exciting stuff such as half off your favorite drink doesn't even thrill you. It was one of those days.
The morning started alright. I managed to sleep the whole night through without waking up in a puddle of urine from either of the twins. I call that a good start to the day. My husband decided to work from home today which should mean a little bit of help with the kids. Instead it means stare downs with my husband as I clean up after him and the boys.
Then the school called. My foster daughter has a suspected case of strep. She needed to be picked up immediately and she of course can't return until after a doctor has cleared her. Which prompted a number of calls to various urgent cares and doctor's offices to figure who accepts medicaid and who is accepting new patients. This flurry of phone conversation interrupted my husband's phone conferences, which resulted in more stare downs (I'm still not sure which one of us won that round).
Next, which when I really think about it, is the heart of why today was one of those days, is that I went to the Early Learning Center of our local school district and I enrolled my four year old baby boys into Pre-K. Seriously. They've been four years old for exactly one week and already they are going to a 'real' school.
I do realize that it will be late August before the boys actually begin attending the afternoon session of school, but I'm just not ready. I'm not. I'm just not. I'm ready for a break. I'm ready to open a bag of chips without two little boys tugging at my pants. I'm ready to stop picking up toys and coming up with creative ways to entertain the kids when I'm on an important phone call. I'm ready to meet friends at the local coffee shop and not have to run after two little guys who take off in different directions just to humor themselves. I'm ready to not deal with nap refusals and 2,136 daily questions about why and why not? I'm ready to reclaim my iPad and iPhone and to comb my hair and take a shower as quickly as the Super Why theme song. I am ready to shop the aisles of my local Target and not have to dodge the toy section, the candy section, the misplaced Spider Man Slippers section! I am ready to sympathize with the other moms who have yet to graduate to pre-k with their toddlers. Yes, I am ready for freedom.
But wait. With freedom comes restrictions. I mean, what happens one rainy morning when I want to snuggle with my Munchkins? What about long holiday weekends when there's school attendance requirements? Should I let my kids skip class in order to have a play date at the zoo? Am I really ready to give up on the afternoon giggles, the walks, the exploration adventures in the backyard? Am I ready to let go of all of their cute mispronounced words and funny sayings? Am I prepared for the connections that they will surely make with their own teachers and friends? Are they ready to be separated?
It's bittersweet you know? Being a SAHM, needing, wanting and desiring a break and then realizing that you may get exactly what you're asking for. I know my children will be better for the experience of Pre-K. Lord knows that they probably need as much of a break from me as I need from them from time to time. But being a mom, much like being a wife, can be full of ups and downs and most certainly those occasional stare downs. But when you lay down each night and you run through the endless list of all that you did and did not do that day. And you remember all the good things that happened that day; and then you recall all of the bad things about that day, and as difficult as it may seem, you simply say goodbye to it. Good night to it. Because each day is a day forward and every day forward is a blessing and a gift. And as reluctant as I am to face the reality of my four year olds starting school, it is time. And finally you wake up (if you're lucky), the next day to another day, another moment, another chance, because life does not have a pause button, no matter how much you need it to stand still.