Do you remember when you were about 17 and you were in lots of ways kind of a grown up but in lots of ways not one at all? How you would go out to eat with your friends and have to ask for a table and the hostess would say, "How many?" and instead of just answering her like a normal human you would look at each other and giggle and then stutter out a number followed by and preceded by the non-word "um"?
I asked for a table a couple of weeks ago and when I sat down I wondered what happened and how many hostesses I had to stutter at before getting a table just wasn't a big deal. It's just getting a table. It's just saying a number at a person and whatever, no big deal or anything and also could we please sit outside? That's the thing I like about being a grown-up, even more than the freedom. I like all the practice I have had at doing people-things. I like the lack of anxiety in those situations.
I still need practice in some areas.
I still need practice with sending my kids to school.
Alice really really really really wanted to go to preschool this year. So I am sending her. She is three, and old enough to be in the class Clark was in last year. The idea of being away from her for eight hours a week makes me want to sit on the concrete of the parking lot and cry.
Clark is going to be in the fours class -- the last class before the big K. A year from now he'll be in Kindergarten and just the thought of that makes me want to do that parking lot sob thing for three days straight.
Last year Clark had an iffy year. He struggles with things. He hates to be told that he has to stop doing something. He is not good with transitions. He struggles with following directions. He locks in on the stuff he likes and tunes the rest of the world out. He is going to school tomorrow. I am so nervous and I know I am supposed to relax but I don't have practice with this. I go to his school and I feel like a little girl with big emotions that don't make sense and not like a mom who knows how to get a table at a restaurant without saying "um".
I haven't blogged in almost two weeks because I have spent all of that time with my laptop folded up and stuck under my bed. I could feel school looming and squeezing and growing larger, out of focus for awhile but directly in front of me now.
I miss my kids and they haven't left me yet.
I am grateful for this chance to spend time alone with the baby. He needs me to look him in the face at eye level for more minutes of the day. I am happy I get to talk to him in mama-language and spend 20 minutes (in a row!) trying to get him to say one word. I am glad for that. I also need this break. Having three kids in under four years makes your brain feel like it's about to fall out. I actually need this break for my mental health. I think the entire house -- the floors and surfaces and walls and everything-- will sigh in relief because there will finally be a stretch of time where someone isn't spilling something on it.
But how am I going to sleep tonight?