Monday, December 10, 2012

this crazy year

Here I am again, in the garage while the ever faithful sitter Liz bathes the kids and puts them to bed. It's cozy in here - I have my water and my phone and therefore music, and it's not too cold to type. (We're about done with garage-blogging weather up here in the snow belt, however. Where will I hide then? The basement? I wonder if I have any gloves I can type in? Hm....) The downside is that both lights bulbs have burned out so I can't see a thing except this glowing screen. But I did bring a flashlight! Any event is more enjoyable if you attend to the details.

So. I haven't been here on the blog in a while. I've been trying to get here, longing to come visit this page, but life is, you know, doing that thing it does. I mentioned before that I have one kid in school in the morning, the other in the afternoon. I have about 25 minutes from the time Frances gets on the bus until I leave to pick up Clark. Someone is with me always. In some ways it reminds me of when they were so little. Someone who always needs my attention, never being able to finish a task (laundry, dishes) to completion, these ideas of fun projects (gingerbread houses, paper snowflakes on bunting) swimming around my head and never any time to fit them in, though it's unclear to me where the time actually goes. The biggest difference, besides the amount of contact I have with fecal matter, is that I no longer schlep things. As we were all leaving the house the other evening for Irish Dance I was acutely aware of my lack of preparedness with snacks and drinks. Then I remembered the diapers and wipes and burp cloths and changes of clothes of yore. My body does feel much lighter than in those days.

(This is actually a big point. I think when I was physically more involved in parenting - holding, carrying, lifting, rocking, wiping, schlepping - I was desensitized to the contact. It's these days that I get touched out, when I feel the need for physical space. Interesting.)

(By the way, this blog was created out of that experience - diapers and wipes and burp cloths and changes of clothes. And I've finally realized it really is time to be done with this blog. That doesn't mean I will quit writing. It's time to move on, another blog awaits. It's brewing. It's not ready yet. But just to keep you updated about that issue...)

By the time the kids are (finally) in bed I just don't have the energy for creation (meaning: blogging, or sewing, or painting, or often even email). Or for returning things to the mall. I could this minute go to home depot for lightbulbs and a new toilet seat for instance, but I just don't want to. So I'm here with you instead. A place I'd much rather be.

Anyway, busy schedule. Plus kids in Karate 2x a week and all that. So it's hard for me to get to the page. It's hard for me to catch my breath. I'm trying to figure out ways to make it work, to get the support I need so I can fully enjoy what there is to enjoy about this nutty schedule. I have another au pair situation with a college girl I adore but it's only a month while she's off for break. (but she gets here this Friday yayayayayyaay!) During that month I intend to find something more long term. (Please contact me if you have any leads.)

Even amid all that is frantic, I am also very present and aware it's only one year. It's a unique year, different from all the rest to come. It's hard for me, this year. I'm trying to let go of the dishes and of dinner (thank goodness for the new Trader Joes), and instead do puzzles and play Uno and make Magi out of salt dough as I did today. Next year Frances will be in school full day but Clark will still be home half day. The year after that they will both be gone full day. Oh my.

But I also love these days. I love having time alone with each child. I love running errands with them, letting them color or play around me while I cook dinner (at 10am because when else is that going to happen?), I love waiting for the bus with Frances and the ritual the bus adds to our lives. I love packing her snack in her backpack, love the way when she gets home she bounds off the bus with a smile, turns and waves, then runs to me. I love hearing about her day that is so foreign and completely separate from me. On days when Mitch takes Clark to school, I love that Frances and I walk the dog. We have a route of our own that involves a high wooden swing, and then we come home for hot chocolate without marshmallows because it is 9 am after all.

I love it. I love that Clark is learning to play by himself, entertained with his own sound effects, a lot of swooshing and blasting and kabooming as he zooms various cars or figures through the air. I love going to the library more often because I go with them one at a time rather than together. I am acutely aware that these days are but a moment in time, this year something that I will look back on.

Which is why I need support. Because I don't want this year to go by in a blur of dishes and laundry and rides to karate. I want to have enjoyed it, and to have paused and seen it. I want to feel it fully, and I want to be a good mom. In order to do that, given the set up, I need help help help. It's good to know what you need.

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