The last three days I have found myself frequently lost in a state of uncertainty of where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm used to summers off, used to being home with two kids during this time, but this week is different. I'm not used to one going back to school and one staying home with me. I'm not used to creating days without a vacation end in sight, having time to do so, grocery shopping or taking walks when stores and neighborhoods are quiet.
I'm not used to the bits of time where the house is quiet, the girl wanting time alone with her imagination, the laundry humming away, dinner cooking in the crock-pot... I'm not used to no where I have to be.
These days feel VERY odd.
I'm not complaining.
I'm just frequently stopping to notice.
Time suddenly seems to be on my side.
I've been asking for her to be so for so long; it just feels surreal. Of course this time is not without challenges, without meltdowns, without spills, mistakes, and rude words. In fact if anything, these days seem to have more challenges than the days when I had a defined schedule and knew mostly what to expect.
I could tell you I've never been one to avoid a good challenge, but that statement would be A total LIE! My whole life I avoided challenges. I quit sports, guitar, Girl Scouts, barely tried in school and therefore did pretty horribly. I hated being challenged because if I tried... I could fail. Somehow failing without trying was OK. Really it's only been since I've been a mother that I've started to embrace challenges. Perhaps because I've had no choice.
I've learned a lot about myself these 7 + years. So much I wish I'd known sooner. I've learned that I admit defeat before I give myself the chance to really learn. I've learned I'm very hard on myself. I've learned I expect perfection immediately.
I started Monday morning with a schedule and the unconscious expectation that I would get this stay at home mother thing down pat in about an hour.
We were 20 minutes late to Clark's first day of school and Sophie melted down within the first thirty minutes of our routine. Then she wanted to play outside during our "Language" time. I wanted to stick to our routine (you know the one that wasn't routine yet) but... wasn't the point of being HOME being able to be flexible. Wasn't I home so I could use time like I wanted to, like our family needed it to be used? OH YEAH...So we went outside, and for a good hour she played perfectly happily while I sat on the step- not needed or wanted. What was I suppose to do? My mind immediatly went to failure. She should be in preschool. This isn't working. I'm not doing a good job.
Then we came inside and read books, we sewed, I got all the bills paid all at once (something that never happens), and we spent an hour and a half playing with a sensory table of bubbles. She poured and measured and served me Bubble Tea. I found myself, for the first time in too long, just playing.
It wasn't planned. Our routine that never was didn't happen. It was so fun!
Skip ahead to the next evening. We are walking, bike riding, and trying to skateboard on campus. The boy puts the skateboard down, tries, doesn't get it, and wants to give up. He carries the skateboard for most of our walk. Every once in a while he tries, gets upset by his lack of ability, and carries the board.