Is that really freedom I see back there?

Sendak. Time. Sleep. Deadlines. Pollination. Guilt. Anime. Flowers. Laughter. Cookbooks.  Freedom.

Outings have been had, lessons learned, voices raised, sunlight soaked.

My voice is hoarse from reading the latest bedtime story as it’s overflowed, with delight, from bedtime to train time to restaurant-waiting-for-our-food-time. It’s that mesmerizing, even the 2nd time around (for me). 

There’s been delight in new shoes for D, which he’s coveted ever since I started wearing them years ago.  He’s dancing again, and I no longer have to listen to the slip-slap-shuffle of stiff soles that he was never quite comfortable with. 

Unless they’re new dress shoes, which he also delighted in because he could skate around the floor in them.  He’s not quite that grown up yet, thank God!

Neither is Fynn, who’s becoming an avid fan of the new camera, and snaps pictures wherever we go.  I love seeing his perspective on the world, it’s fresh and low and wide-eyed still. 

His mouth?  Also wide open, always.

The school year is winding down, and I’m struggling with the usual load of guilt about how much we have or haven’t covered, eyeing the projects that have been abandoned and gathering dust for months, and trying to remember all the good things we’ve found, discussed, and fixated on. 

I’m struggling too with finding the time for client projects when I’m just beat from the day.  Working on anything other than a 20-minute thing during the day is just not possible, and so I was very glad to have my first “work” day yesterday in about 6 weeks!  M took over for the day, and I got in a good 12 hours of client stuff, only taking brief breaks to eat.  It eased the work guilt somewhat, as I knocked out the majority of a big project that’s been hanging around my inbox for far too many weeks.  The more things I cross off, the more things I take on though, or so it seems.  As soon as the list gets a little shorter, I convince myself that I have loads of time and start thinking of other things I can take on.  Or offer to do for fun/free, which is honestly more fun than the paying work.  Perhaps I’m just an appreciation whore?  Entirely possible. 

We had a great time last Saturday, thanks to a friend of D’s who had her first communion, and then a big party afterwards.  (Hence the spiffed up pair a few pics ago).  Good food, good conversation, and good wine, what more could I ask?  Nothing, though I did delight in the roasted orange they brought me for dessert, after I had to decline the chocolate cake thanks to GF issues.  Bliss.

So am I feeling trapped right now?  No.  Looking back a bit as we think about moving forward?  Yes.  Realizing the freedoms I have that have replaced the ones I’ve given up.  Sudden trip to Japan for the weekend?  Probably not happening again any day soon.  Sleeping in, being home alone, thinking without interruptions … I still have to carve these things out, or grab them whenever I can. 

What can I do now that I couldn’t before?  I’m more free to be myself than I ever have been, and though I can’t attribute it to parenting per se, I know it’s been a big factor.  That’s a huge one.

I’m free to hug and kiss my boys, and grab those small sweaty hands, for at least a day or two more. 

Free to teach them what I can, and free to let them learn on their own too. 

Free to decide how to spend every day, as I live it.  Not bound at the moment to too many schedules, other than the ones we choose.  I don’t think I realized how huge that was until I just typed the sentence, but it’s true. The freedom of choice.  Not just about my attitude, but about what we actually do for the day.  Lessons, meals, skipping meals, skipping lessons, reading until 3am because the book really is that good, I can do these things, I can choose these things, and I revel in it.  It’s a delightful feeling.

There is the ever-present weight of responsibility, which presses guilt out of just about anything it touches, but I’m getting a little more calloused and less affected by it as time goes by.  My responsibility to my kids isn’t less than it was 2 years ago, it’s more if anything, but the more time I spend with them the more I realize that I trust that it will all work out. They’ll shine no matter what I do, really.  I just want to give them the tools they need to match the glints in their eyes, and then duck.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?