These grey days make me feel comforted. Sunshine screams, “Get outside and do something right now!” While the overcast day says, “Hey girl. You have errands? That’s cool. Let’s do those. Eventually, though, there’s going to be tea and a good book.”
Yes, overcast day, yes there will.
I was up most of the night. Something about the pouring rain wouldn’t let me sleep. It was one of those lucky no-sleep nights where you are comfortable under your blanket on your pillows. Unable to sleep but able to enjoy the comfort and let the mind wander. My mind always wonders about finances with an occasional break to worry about my girls in school. Right now, however, there’s not much in the finance sector to worry about. Our bills are what they are and our plan is what it is. There is enough coming in to tread water and his work status is “any day now.” My goal for the beginning of the season is always to just try and relax and let things happen how they are going to happen.
As it happens, by the time the alarm went off it pulled me out of a deep, comfortable sleep I didn’t know I had fallen into. Curled up on my right side, I unburrow my left arm and try to turn over as little as possible to hit the snooze button on the phone that sits on the endtable at my back. That same claw-hand “pat pat pat” looking for the phone blindly is familiar and helps remind me that I can’t oversleep because the kids need to catch the bus.
I go through the girls’ backpacks and am reminded again that I am not mom enough to be an awesome pubic school mom. There are so many papers and one of my kids has homework because she got a B on her speed math so she has to do five practice sheets. She tells me in her perky, awake in the morning voice, “Soon we will get sheets for practice if we get anything lower than an A+” and I remember how easy school used to be and wonder if higher standards will translate into better performance in college like so many hope for. I realize I do not even have the capacity to care because I have not yet had a cup of coffee.
They are dressed and the five-step “ready for school” process I printed and stuck on the wall when they were in Kindergarden and 1st grade is still serving them well in 3rd and 4th grade. I wonder how many years it will be before they can get themselves ready without my help. I feel like having more than one makes it more difficult because they distract one another almost constantly as they brush hair, get dressed, brush teeth, pack a snack, and have breakfast. Not necessarily in that order their morning comes together in a predictible and calm way.
The piles of paper include report cards I don’t particularly want to look at and fliers for this night and that night and hope to see you for something and picture day. I take a few precious morning minutes to look up the last day of school because I don’t know how much more of this I can take. A new school with a new approach is difficult for parents, too, especially when the new school is more involved. I just want a break from colored in reading days and logs and math papers. I want to break free and get on the train and take the kids to a museum this summer and remind them that fun can be had while learning. All the while I’m thinking about how ungrateful I am because this school is so good and has such high standards and that is not something I would ever want to give up. Summer is so close already (only 42 more school days) it can’t be a bad thing to look forward to. Right?
Nights with not enough sleep turn into days where the weariness of moving creeps up on me and reminds me it is not done with me yet. Like jet lag, it is hidden and lasts longer than you think it should. I usually feel like I made the transition better than anyone could have expected. I mean, really, I transitioned like a pro to the new town and know people and there are such good people here it felt easy. I just want to take a week and lay on a beach somewhere in a magic land where I can lay on a beach all day without getting a horrible sunburn (of course) and just relax.
Want to come with me? We can all relax together and just breathe for a while and let ourselves catch up to ourselves.