Blessed school bus, how do I love thee? Let me count thy wheel rotations.
We had a great summer. Some of it was busy. Some of it was relaxing. Most of it was fun.
But about three weeks ago we started “being ready”.
She was ready.
He was ready.
I was (more than) ready.
I sent my baby to kindergarten today (or actually a few days ago – it takes time to edit). Lest you think this means unlimited kid-free days for Mama, Ian only goes to school two days a week, and I now have two grades of schooling to facilitate at home three days a week.
I tried to shed a tear as I watched my little-big-man get on the bus, but the only thought that filled my brain was my mantra from the previous evening… “Dear God, pleeeaase get us to 7:16am… 7:16am… 7:16am.”
I’m pretty sure two weeks at home without my hubby could be part of the reason for my unsentimental first-day-of-school-farewell. Unsentimental is highly! unlike me, but just maybe I was more than a little ready for a few hours of peace and quiet. (I’ll probably be sobbing tonight.)
In case you haven’t heard, Daniel is seeing new places, meeting new people, and eating out like a king… the entire way across the country… for about two months… on his bicycle.
(I’m absolutely positive there are NO! down sides to his adventure. It all looks so glamorous on facebook, right? Ok, maybe not the 110 degree days of riding without a stitch of shade, but try two bickering kids for hours!! on end, even from separate rooms. “Ian, stop singing! I saaaiid, stop talking! Stop whispering! Mooomm!! I can still hear him breathing!”)
So while Daniel is pumping the pedals, I’ve been at home canning salsa that only I will eat (I still hold out hope that someday one of them will like it.), listening to complaints about my taste in clothes (“Mom, don’t wear THAT dress. It makes me dizzy when I look at you. I HATE it.”), and eating leftovers five nights in a row because I don’t know how to cook for 1.25 people. (My kids eat like midget birds. I’m in need of some hungry people to eat with me. Anyone?)
Since Daniel left, we’ve successfully(?) navigated summer colds all around, a fall and resulting wound that was a candidate for stitches (No, I didn’t pass out, but I was close.), my daughter’s 9th birthday and pool party for 18, a teething six year old, a dysfunctional lawn mower, my first e-book purchase, an orthodontist consultation, a one-sided 13th wedding anniversary, back to school shopping and preview night along with The Pile of back to school paperwork, and much more.
My last text to Daniel is slightly telling: “Do you mind if I go away the weekend after you get home? Will you be upset if I’m gone?”
I’m not exactly sure how to interpret his response: “Sure, sounds fine with me.” But seriously, this is the only “correct” answer, right?
Still when Daniel called me a few days ago and told me about some knee issues he was having, my inner-runner started spouting injury prevention and maintenance advice. —”Advil around the clock, even if it’s feeling good. Ice in intervals. Wish you had a foam roller.”
After the knee news, I didn’t sleep well that night playing out all the possible scenarios of how to handle this problem. This could be a trip-stopper if things went downhill.
Truth be told, I wasn’t ready for him to come home.
Not because I didn’t miss him. Or because I need to prove I am Wonder Mama. Or because I’m enjoying guilt-free sleeping with the fan on HIGH and one (or two or three) too many impromptu trips for ice cream with the kiddos.
I’m not ready for him to come home because he’s not ready. This is his dream, and I want this for him. Even if he gets to the point where he’s mentally exhausted and begging to come home, I’m not picking him up. Because in the end, he’ll be glad I didn’t. (We’ve already discussed this. He agrees. Tough love.)
A lot of people have asked me, sometimes with notable disbelief, how I am going to manage for two months by myself with two children. (My doctor basically told me she thought both of us are crazy.) Believe me, I wrestled with this question as well as with a decent amount of jealousy, but I have finally figured out my answer.
Frankly, I have to manage because I will go to jail if I neglect my children, and I don’t think I’ll fare well in jail.
Secondly, I’ll muddle through because I have a lot of people who have offered (in some cases begged) to help me as I muddle. If it takes a village, apparently I’ve got one.
But the most important reason I do this willingly is because it’s Daniel’s dream, and I want to help make it possible. And even though I’m sometimes exhausted, jealous, and frustrated beyond reasoning by the end of the day, I am exceedingly excited to see what’s in store for him along the way!
And I know he would do the same for me.