Thursday, January 21, 2016

I Want It All And I Can't Have It

It's happening.  It's really, really happening and I'm freaking out.  It had to happen at some point and that point is now.  I'm about to spend a few days a week with adults.  It means adult conversations, using my brain for work and no dried Play-doh or Itsy Bitsy Spiders for several hours.  And it all kind of happened without me knowing it was happening.  Let me explain...

I went to an interpreting job and, long story short, the student liked me.  I went back the next week. She asked if I would be her interpreter for the spring semester.  I was excited to be offered this opportunity, but I didn't know if I could make it work.  The three sitters I had previously used were not available for the hours I needed.

Out of the blue a woman who I had worked with in Chicago told me her daughter was moving to Boston and looking for childcare work.

Hmmmm....this just might work!

As I was talking with the daughter about potentially being my new sitter I got offered a bunch of interpreting hours by another student.

All of a sudden I had offers for several days of work and a sitter.  I also had a role in a show this spring that was booked long ago, a job interpreting a show in May and another job to interpret a show that just popped up a couple weeks ago.

I grabbed work.  I booked the sitter.  I was so excited for all of this to happen.

And now it's happening.  Change -- even change you want -- can be scary.

I have been the primary caregiver to my boys since birth.  We have had sitters over the last few years, but I have always felt like I was there more often than not.  Now things are drastically changing: they are at school a few hours a day, a sitter will pick them up from school three days a week, I won't be making them lunch every day, and some nights I won't get to tuck them into bed.  I know it's good for me.  It's a big step to getting back a part of me that was lost for a long time.  I know it's good for them.  Their world is expanding beyond their parents.  The sitter is great and Jeff is in love with her even though he's known her for about 4 hours.  But it's still hard.  Someone told me, "You'll love the change.  After a few weeks of being out of the house you'll adjust and enjoy work and home more."  I believe it...but it doesn't make this transition easy.

Lord help me the day they leave for college.  Just a warning, folks, clear your schedule for the fall of 2030.  I'm going to needs lots of support -- and chocolate.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

School Choices

It’s that time again.  It’s school lottery time. 

We live in a town that has something called controlled choice.  Basically that means I should go around to the dozen or so elementary schools and rank my top three choices.  Hopefully my boys will get into one of the top choices.  It’s all based on proximity, gender, socio-economic levels, siblings already at the school, etc.  I’m not sure I’m loving this process, although I guess I do like that there is some flexibility and some parental involvement as to where my kids will go.  As a renter it’s not the worst thing but I could see how people buying in this town might be upset that their children get placed at a school that is on the other side of town or ranked low according to some websites.

I’m getting off track. 

I went to my second school tour today.  While the tour guide was showing me the gym and the cafeteria and how the kindergarten kids have bathrooms inside their classrooms (yes, that is a big selling point) I started to tear up a little.  It wasn’t because of the excitement of knowing that my boys won’t have to poop with 5th graders (although that is exciting).  It was the world of possibilities that awaits my kids.

During the two tours I have seen school gardens where the kids learn about growing vegetables.  I watched kids sing a song in a round.  I saw projects about families and animals hanging on classroom walls.  I visited libraries and saw where children learn to research projects and understand technology.  I went to an auditorium where students will watch performances and even produce their own musical.  The world is opening up for my boys and I am so excited to watch it happen.  I wonder if they will be interested in music and drama like me.  I wonder who their friends will be.  I wonder if they will excel at math or reading or science. 

I know as they grow I will have to deal with things that will hurt my heart: a boy who is upset he didn’t win first place in a science fair, a crying kid who was bullied on the playground, a sad child who didn’t get the role of the dolphin in the school play and has to be a whale.  As the years go on I’ll be dealing with peer pressure, staying out late, dating, driving and more.  For now, though, I’m going to try to enjoy the excitement of possibilities.  This is the joy part of All Joy And No Fun.