Yesterday I had a significant freakout about the arrival of summer. I was panicking. And I wasn’t at all physically or emotionally prepared for the transition.
I was so exhausted that as soon as I got Number 6 and 7 into bed, I crashed on my own bed before 9 pm.
My husband was working down in the basement.
Number 4 was at a carnival with a friend. I texted her mom and told her I was sorry, but I was too tired to stay awake until Number 4 got home, I couldn’t stay up another minute, and that she could just let Number 4 run inside when she dropped her off.
I like to go out to the car to say thank you whenever someone drops the kids off, but last night I just couldn’t do it.
I left Number 3 and 5 out on the couch watching television, and I passed out.
Number 5 woke me up at 3 a.m. because she was thirsty, so I got her a water bottle and got back into bed.
At 3:30, I was still wide awake.
I had gotten six hours of sleep already, and my alarm usually goes off at 4:30 a.m. I knew sleep would not return anytime soon.
So I got up.
I made some coffee, did some laundry, got a little bit of work done, worked out on the elliptical for 40 minutes while I watched another episode of Scandal (holy shnikes I love that show), and then took a shower.
I took Number 3 and 4 to swim practice, coached this morning, and taught a bunch of swim lessons this afternoon. By 3:30, I was done for the day.
The kids were pretty good today. There were one or two episodes where a couple of them tried to beat the crap out of each other, but for the most part, they were great.
And today is the first Friday in a very long time where I don’t have swim practice at night.
That hasn’t happened in a long, long time. Like since last September.
It’s the first Friday night, in nine months, where I am home, all the kids are home, and we just have a regular, non-scheduled, semi-relaxed night.
I was so overwhelmed and freaked out yesterday I didn’t even realize that while my daytime schedule might become a little more challenging, my nighttime schedule has become much more manageable. Especially tonight! And not just tonight.
Every Friday night for the rest of the summer!
So once I was done with my lessons, I told the kids I was going to take a shower.
I was interrupted twice. Once because someone broke a bowl and once because someone clogged a toilet, but other than that, I was able to shower in relative peace.
By 4:30 I was clean and dressed in my pajamas, and able to get dinner started without having to throw all the kids in the car and rush off anywhere.
It was foreign. It was weird.
And it was awesome.
Two of the kids were outside playing badminton. Three of the kids were swimming in the pool. One kid was up in bed reading.
It was, as far as I’m concerned, the perfect summer night.
Everyone was having fun doing what they wanted to do.
And so, at 5:00 on a Friday night, in my pajamas and after having enough time to just pause and exhale, I noticed how gross the floor was.
I took out the vacuum, feeling oddly grateful to have this opportunity to leisurely clean my floor. And as I was vacuuming in my pajamas during happy hour time on a Friday night, I thought about what I might have been doing fifteen years ago at this time on a Friday night.
I certainly wouldn’t have been doing housework. In my pajamas.
I definitely would have been celebrating happy hour in the traditional manner with my (childless) coworkers.
And immediately after that thought, as if the Universe felt the need to slap me in the face, I very vividly recalled a conversation I had with one of my fellow teachers about sixteen years ago.
I remember exactly where I was, sitting at one of the student’s desks in her empty classroom after all the kids had gone home, telling her how I looked forward to the day that I had kids and a family. And how I hoped I’d be able to stop teaching so I could stay home with them.
And for a couple hours this afternoon and tonight, my life was exactly how I envisioned it back then.
I couldn’t see that this past week. Because it was a shit show.
In fact the past couple of weeks have been kind of a disaster. I fucked up multiple times. Among other things, I completely missed a class party, a dentist appointment, a baseball practice, and a swim practice.
I almost forgot Number 3’s birthday. And if it weren’t for my parents, he wouldn’t have had any birthday presents or a cake.
I’ve been feeling like a failure. Like I’ve let my kids down.
And then, tonight happened.
We did nothing spectacular, but my kids had a great day.
I kind of did, too.
I’m not doing things perfectly.
But I’m not doing them all that badly, either.
So I’m not nearly as freaked out as I was yesterday. And I’m easing into summer.
It’s funny how when you calm down, relax and stop putting unreasonable expectations and demands on yourself that things just kind of fall into place, isn’t it?
Nothing ever really goes exactly the way we hope it will and the Shitshow episodes air more often than we’d all like sometimes.
But there are also lots of awesome moments (some spectacular and some more mundane) sprinkled in between.
Tonight as I vacuumed my dirty floor in my pajamas at 5:00 on a Friday night, I was given a gift. A reminder. A gentle slap in the face.
Not all parts of my life are as I pictured them years ago.
But a lot of them are.
And life really isn’t all that bad.