Last week, when I handed my check to our daycare provider, I told her that if it were appropriate, I would kiss her. She smiled nervously, took a step back, and then I flew out of there like Tinkerbell herself. The taste of freedom was on my lips. I was going to DO things. A pedicure? Sure. Shopping? Definitely. Visiting a friend? Put it on the list. It’s not that I don’t love spending time with my babies. Watching them this evening on their Slip n’ Slide, giggling huge full belly laughs all covered in grass made my heart swell with a kind of happiness I didn’t know existed before parenting. But there are also other moments. For example, Ella brought me my ice scraper this morning while I was in the shower. Also while I was in there, she asked me for a snack. While I was attempting to shave my legs she informed me that she needed lotion and I peered out from behind the shower curtain to find her hoisting one leg up on the bathroom counter. Meanwhile, I believe Harrison has lost his sense of hearing because he has literally ignored every single direction I have given him all day. Favorite activities include, but are not limited to: hitting his sister, trying to knock me out of a rocking chair, and practicing lacrosse inside the house. He also decided to show his new and improved vocabulary to his grandmother. (Here’s how I found out which word it was that he said: “Harrison, was it the ffff sound or the sh sound? It was the fff sound. Spectacular.)
It’s only Sunday night and it feels like I have been with my kids for seventeen straight days without a break. But no, it’s just a summer weekend. To be honest, I can’t even remember what I did on Friday, it seems so long ago. I can tell you that the kids were in daycare that day though, and I had some remnants of my sanity dangling from my conscience before I picked them up.
But this is where it gets dicey and where people get judgey. I don’t work during the summer. We send the kids to daycare two days a week because I need to get shit done. I also need to sit down and breathe and think a full thought without interruption. I’ve had moments of self doubt about this decision because, after all, I COULD be home with them every.single.day this summer. But then I’d return to teaching in the fall a frazzled crazy mess. Those two days per week that my children are in the loving care of another human being give me the ability to recenter my brain and my soul. I truly am a better mom when I pick them up after their day at daycare. I also feel that I should share the wealth. I mean, it wouldn’t be fair of me to keep all this fun to myself. I am so thankful that there is a human being who actually enjoys getting all of the 4- and 5-year olds in the whole town together all at once. Then she takes them out in PUBLIC, all at the same time, and somehow they all come back at the end of the day. Had this been my job, I’d have lost a child or two in the shuffle. Not only do they all come back but they all have their shoes on. Honestly, the woman is a saint.
Tomorrow, my kids are going to go back to daycare. I’m going to do things like take out the trash and empty the dishwasher. If I get adventurous, I might clean out my closet. But the good news is that I can shave my legs in peace.