Yesterday, I met my friend off campus to pick up seven splash marans eggs to start for our annual kindergarten hatch which will be held in my own dining room this year. I fetched MB's kindergarten packet along with a neighbor's daughter's at the preschool, and then went home. Because the kids can't come in, I created the day 1 video for them to see.
Right now marks the first time in four years that I've been a SAHM again--and for all of you moms who have been doing it a million other ways, I salute you. It's hard to mom no matter how you do it, but I have really been missing the home time that I probably misused over the years. Now, I see it as an opportunity to catch up, do different things, and get back to what my hero, Martha Stewart, calls homekeeping.
In the gardening department, I managed to rake out the front garden beds of winter leaves, divide out my lambs ears, spread pine straw, and also dig out enough stones on the property to make a winding border up around the roses I planted last spring.
Took a break from the yard to do math with the Dawg, my independent fourth grader, who suddenly wants a presence sitting by him to do schoolwork. Then, Marsh and I logged onto Seesaw to watch his teacher read some of James and The Giant Peach, the "chapter book" that they've been reading in class.
Later, I marinated chicken thighs for dinner, and broke up Peep, and some misguided eighth grade girlfriends, who apparently thought I would allow them to meet up at the movies, which is most probably already closed. This kicked off a phone call to the middle school principal, and a reminder for all on the parent org page that THIS IS NOT A SNOW DAY.
There are things that I could do all day, but some of the time feels lost to thought or worry. I'm saying this because if anyone I know is reading this and maybe feeling the same way, you're not alone. Something that I think about a lot is how no matter what older birthday you have, you're still basically doing life for the "first time." None of us really know what we're doing, but we're improvising.
As a Gen-X kid, I did read a thread that gave me a laugh. The gist of it was that we are the original latch-key kids--we've trained to be alone at home all of our lives. For me, that's definitely true. I've spent afternoons with two younger kids who got tired of their big sister bossing them around, done homework unsupervised, and fixed countless family dinners. (If you're reading this, MOM, this is not a dig on how we grew up. Parents did, and continue to do, what they had to do to keep the family afloat. Hardworking, middle class families continue to struggle.)
I remember developing a big imaginary life while home alone. I watched cooking shows obsessively, and talked myself through the meals that I invented in the kitchen as if I were conducting my own show. There was the summer that I picked all the produce in the garden, packaged it up, and pulled it along in my red wagon to sell to our neighbors. By the time the internet came along, it was high excitement to realize that via compuserve, I could talk to other people my age in different places. Can you even remember a time that having a pen pal, and trusting who they were on the internet was ever a thing? Today, I'd rip the device out of my child's hand, delete the app or change the password and move on. How do I tell them that was how I met my best friend over 25 years ago?
Digressing, I grilled the chicken, served over a dressed slaw with sliced tomatoes, and poured a healthy slug of vodka on the rocks. Let's just call it "preparing for a life without mixers."