Too many mental tabs open today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The calm.

So this summer I was good and bad. Good at being the director of "camp mom" and finding fun things for K to do. Making sure this was a great summer for her (and D as well). I was bad at so many things: returning phone calls and emails (my job kept me busy at all hours) grooming (my eyebrows are downright scary), trip planning (we tried to make it to Sea World but it just never happened) and finally writing. I sucked at writing this summer. I had every intention of writing daily and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to catch up. My days were filled with various activities, meals and tickle fights, my evenings were for resting, relaxing and well, tickle fights. I knew that the days were flying by and I didn't want to spend it in front of my laptop when I could have been with K.

I didn't want the end of summer to suddenly show up and regret time not spent properly. Every day thoughts of writing swirled around my head while an actual child swirled around my heart. Sorry, I had to pick her. You would too.

I remember as a kid that sick feeling I used to get around Labor Day, knowing that school was about to start would send my stomach on a whirlwind trip around my body. I actually had a very strong physical reaction to the Jerry Lewis Telethon (and still do). It's not like I had great summer vacations either, I was shipped off to sleep away camp for 9 weeks as soon as I was about 8 or 9. As I got older and worked (for pay) Labor Day meant that the Jewish holidays were coming and I'd get a few days off from work. Spending the days at shul never bothered me, there were always those free hours during breaks, hours I liked to call "naptime."

After K was born the calendar no longer mattered, there was no back to school or days off. There was just me and K hanging during the day. As she got a little older and talk of preschool came up, I poo pooed it (did I use that properly?). Why does my 2 year old need preschool? When she turned 3 I found a cute preschool program through a local park that was a few days a week from 10AM to noon, perfect. K would get to socialize and I could grocery shop. When she got closer to 4 I knew I had to find a different option. While I adored her school in the park I knew that she would need something longer to get her ready for Kindergarten. The day I dropped her off to that school I went home and cried. I cried all week. I missed her terribly. How could parents talk with so much glee about their "free time? I was miserable. I lived for 2:30PM, holidays and vacations. In fact I think I chose a Jewish preschool because of all the holidays.

When she started Kindergarten I was thrilled, she only went until 11:30!! After I found out that all the other kids were in the STAR program I had no choice but to sign her up, I didn't want K to miss out on all the fun things at school because I couldn't deal. Again I counted the days to holidays and vacation and was over-the-moon thrilled when it was summer vacation. I wasn't the best camp director, last summer was a rough one emotionally for me. The problem with D and his mom had mounted to a full scale emotional withdrawal for me and while I was with K 24/7 my head wasn't necessarily in that same place.

This time was going to be different. I counted the days until school ended and I threw myself into my new role with gusto. Even when we didn't have plans we had fun. We laughed too much, ate too much junk food and had an incredible time together. Every week that passed by was a reminder of the incredibly short time we had together and I relished every minute of it. The days that D took K for their own time together I was miserable. Happy when I heard their returning voices. When the back to school ads appeared I was horrified. NOT YET!!! When August turned to September I was grateful for the LAUSD budget cuts that gave me another week with my baby.

My dad finally decided to come and see us and his visit coincided with the first day of school, which was yesterday. For days I wondered how this would work. Traditionally, I sat home and cried on that day, how was I supposed to that with my dad there? Also, the first Jet game was on at 4PM. My mind and house would be full of distractions so maybe it would work. It did. While I did force back a mountain of tears after D and I dropped her off, I spent a lovely day alone with my dad. Something that hasn't been done in years. We both picked up K and went out for a treat. After that we came home she did her homework and I did mine (20 plus pages of forms to fill out, for a school that she's been going to for two years!) I cooked dinner while we all watched the game (which sucked BTW). D came home and we all had dinner, then our friend L came by to say hi to my dad and drop off some work D needed. I was happy L got to see my dad, they get along really well. I was also happy that it spared D from coming home hours later. I really needed the distraction of a full house. Not only was my baby gone during the day from now on, but my dad was leaving. Something my family does not handle all that well.

This morning was filled with a similar chaos. Rushing K off to school and making sure my dad left in time (not that we would have been bummed if he missed his plane and had to stay!).

So here I sit in a lonely and dirty house. For the first time in three months I am alone. I hardly know what to do with myself. I could care less about cleaning. The mess is a reminder of the amazing week we just had. The dirty dishes are leftover from a wonderful meal we all just shared and K's room is in disarray because she had so much fun with her BP (as we call him).

I don't want to disturb any of it. I know once I do the tears will start to flow and I don't know if I am ready for it.

I think I might have to start with my eyebrows.

It's nice to be back. I missed you.


  1. You're a very good writer.

    "Every day thoughts of writing swirled around my head while an actual child swirled around my heart. Sorry, I had to pick her. You would too."

    That's beautiful. And so are your essays on this blog. Thanks for sharing,

  2. Thanks Lee, that means so much coming from an incredible writer!! We seem to have a lot in common.