This morning I woke up at 9 am, ate breakfast while sitting on the floor, took an uninterrupted shower, and drove off to register Sydney for her tap class that starts next week. Just for kicks, I went to the bank, called the water company, insurance company, DMV, and tried (unsuccessfully) to get caught up on all my blog reading. I pondered again who I might vote for in the upcoming Presidential election, wondered if maybe we should consider moving again into a different apartment that's newer and smells better, and now I sit, drinking tea, writing.
It's Friday. And I'm without kids.
No, it's not because they're off at pre-school or daycare. Well, maybe that's not true. Now that I look at the clock it's possible that they are at both pre-school and daycare because they might be with Jason's mom who runs a pre-school/daycare. I'm not entirely sure where my children are, but I know they are either (a) with my parents or (b) with Jason's parents.
It's Friday. And I've been without my kids for 28 hours.
Certainly, I've been away from the girls many, many times, and sometimes for more than a few days at a time. But now that the school year has begun, so has the tradition of Thursday nights at the Family Farm. For the past two years, Sydney has gone up to my parents' house on Thursdays, and returned to us on Fridays. It's been a great arrangement: Sydney got to spend time with her great-grandparents who drove her to and from Washington, and she got to spend time with her grandparents and cousins at the farm. At home, we got to spend time with Jules, and she was the only one who needed to be watched while I was teaching on Thursdays.
This year, however, I'm doing the driving to and from Washington, and both the girls are staying Thursday nights at the farm. Then on Fridays, they are with Jason's parents until we pick them up later that night after Jason is done with soccer. I'd get them earlier in the day, but then we girls would be without Jason all weekend.
That means every Friday--all day long--it's just me. By myself. Catching up on errands, on grading, on other work. Waiting for Jason to come home from soccer games.
I'm not one of those parents who needs to be with my kids all the time; I don't feel guilty about the girls staying the night at the farm. They love it, and it's a good arrangement for everyone. But when I add up all the hours that I'm without my girls, my heart squirms a little bit. I'm reluctant to say how lucky I am to have the day without the girls since I truly feel lucky that I get to be home with them. If they were older, if they were in school, if I were working, if this weren't going to be a weekly arrangement? I think I'd be more accepting. However, spending days away from my sweet baby Jules--no matter how much mischief she causes--is tough on my mommy psyche.
As time goes on, I'm sure I'll start saving all my errands and appointments and "things to do" for Fridays so that when we are all together I can give them my full attention and not be distracted by my to-do list. I can't quite imagine living a life where I'm not distracted by what I have to do, but I think it might just be possible.
For today anyway, I've checked off several things I had been saving for today, and now I'm going to organize my cupboards. Doesn't that sound exciting? Not so much? Well, it'll get done at any rate. Maybe my No-Kids Fridays will be a good thing. Maybe I'll end up feeling guilty and unproductive, although I hope not.
Or maybe I'll even start the Great American Novel.
First, though, I got to get to those cupboards.