It was the phone call this afternoon that tipped the balance. A simple call to Verizon, to ask if the payment I’d scheduled for next week was going to prevent their threatened suspension of service. Been there before, and yes I get touchy when finances are tight, but it always works out. I had to wait through their menu 3 times before my “0” would get me an actual human, but I was connected right away. Gave my name, and he looked me up, but when I tried to answer his second question, he suddenly couldn’t hear me. At all. I could hear him clearly, but he obviously heard nothing. I hollered to no avail, and he hung up after saying it was due to a bad connection.
The alarm went off at 4:30 this morning, and as usual it was a brutal up-rising … car to warm up, food and sundries to throw at M as he packed his bag, jackets to find, and warm sleepy boys to drag out of bed and into the car. It’s Monday, and that means time to send Dad back into the city for the week. He has to catch at train at 6am to get into Manhattan for 9am, and the drive to the station is about 40 minutes. By the time he’d run back into the house for his phone and charger, we got on the road, crept over the bridge, and raced down hwy 97 entirely too fast (IMHO) for the fog and dark and lurking deer. I munched cold granola and started to fall asleep, trying not to wake up completely but knowing it was a losing battle.
I’ve been trying to post this all week, but I just haven’t found the time and energy in the same span of quiet time. Giving it a try on Friday night finally!
Having the boys gone for two weeks was an amazing experience. Like I mentioned before, the week alone with my husband was great. I worked a LOT and we had some good downtime together also. Getting away for 5 days in FL the second week was utter bliss. I truly disconnected once I got away from home, away from all the distractions of coulds and shoulds and maybes that surround me here, whether my kids are home or not. Vacation is a different story.
I’m home, the guests are gone, the sheets are washed but not back on the bed yet, and I go to pick up the boys tomorrow. I have some reflections on spending a week away, and the quietness of the house, but they’re not quite gelled enough to type out. I hope to get them on paper on the bus tomorrow, on the way to meet my two wanderers. I’m sure they’ll look different to me, I’m know I’ve changed and so have they. It will be good, I’ve missed them.
One thing that happened before I left though? I fell in love with my husband all over again. A week with just the two of us, without any parenting responsibilities … I felt downright giddy for a bit there! I was able to see him as Michael again, in focus, not as Dad first and husband later. D was born 18 months after we were married, and we hadn’t lived together before then, so there wasn’t a whole lot of “just us” time before parenting took over. It was a distant and very vague memory, but I found myself remembering bits of what that first year felt like as I once again made dinner for just the two of us. Delicious.
I promised 2 weeks ago to update you after my night out to see the movie Fly Away, and I’m finally getting to it. I met up with a friend in the East Village, and we ducked into the theater just as the movie was starting. There was enough light from the screen to see that the place was nearly empty, but it quickly dimmed enough to not acutally be able to see where the rows were! After a bit of groping for seatbacks, we found a place to park.
The film, by Janet Grillo, is a heart-wrenching look at the life and struggles of a single mom (Jeanne) and her teenage daughter Mandy, who is autistic.
This issue is an old one, but so central to the premise of SaneMoms that it’s worth revisiting. It was brought to mind again by a comment on Christina’s Inside and Out post.
And sometimes I find you even have to defend those moments when you are doing something for yourself, right? My husband lately realized that I was steadily making my way through a series of books and some nasty comments came out about how lucky I was to have time to sit and read during the day while he’s at work and late home every night this week… My response that one of us had to stay sane competely stumped him. I had to fight off my own guilt too about being able to sit quietly for an hour each day, but seriously, if I don’t take care of myself and we BOTH lose it, what good does that do?
Each year I get an MRI of the brain as a follow up to my surgery. I had this done the other night. I scheduled it for the end of the evening so I could first get everything done for all the little and big people in my life.
It was 8pm and I was waiting in the MRI Lounge enjoying a good read in a national magazine when they called me in. As usual, by this time of night, I was weary and drained from all that tending to five young children entails. Nonetheless, the technician started to prep me about taking off my jewelery, removing all metal objects, how to breathe, how to stay motionless, composed, etc.; I knew the drill. He was assessing my mental state to ensure that he wasn’t going have to sedate some frantic claustrophobic once shoved inside the tunnel for a solid hour.
Yesterday, my father-in-law came and took Douglas for the day. With Fynn in preschool, that left me with 5 golden hours, the likes of which I hadn’t seen for over two months. Hours of daylight, alone, without kids. I was turning in circles wondering what I should do with them. Work? Run? Relax? Clean? It was difficult to decide, actually, but I managed to do some of each. The run sucked, as I was ridiculously tight and couldn’t seem to shake it off. Then lunch, some cleaning up, blog reading and writing, work for a friend, a bunch of catch-up computer stuff, and then tearing off at top speed to pick up Fynn, cramming in one more phone call while I trotted. It was a good day, if short on the relaxation aspect!
The difference it made in my week? Immeasurable. It set the tone for the week, as something to look forward to, and something refreshing enough to make me more patient and relaxed. A simple break from routine is enough to recharge me for days. I hope anyhow, shouldn’t speak too soon as it is only Thursday night, but it was a day well spent and it meant a lot to me. I had a break, and I loved it. This schooling gig is hard in all the ways I expected, and then some. It takes it out of me, and we’re still adjusting. I can only hope that it gets easier, and that I don’t feel as desperate for breaks as we get more comfortable … until then I’m glad for every little bit I get!