Monday, September 14, 2009

First phone call of the year

It's good to know my kids still need me. Or at least one of them does. On the seventh day of school my cell phone rang. It was the school nurse telling me that Henry had been in her office because "he didn't think he could make it through the day without his nose spray." I went home, stuffed some kleenex in my pocket and headed over to his school.

When I arrived I noticed Lucy's class was standing in the front hallway, and I got a very warm greeting of "Mama!" from her. Then the fire drill went off. I waited with Lucy's class during the fire drill, listening to one girl mumble "I want to go home. Don't you see that I want to go home." When Lucy stumbled into her by mistake she snapped, "What are you doing?" I asked Lucy about the girl later that day, she said, "Oh, that's A. We said, 'hi, what's your name? Now we're friends."

I gave Lucy a quick good bye and headed off to find Henry, who seemed only mildly congested. We stood in the hall while I shot salty water up his nose. The school nurse and I decided that we can leave a bottle in her office should such an emergency arise again.

It's not exactly the way I'd hoped to meet Henry's teacher for the first time, but she seemed to take everything in stride, and mostly seemed concerned that he got what he needed. Maybe we'll have another good year. My fingers are crossed.

Today's career direction: Maybe I'll become a pilates or yoga instructor since I seem to have found time for exercise and not much else.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Miles to go

Today was the first day that I walked back into the house and it didn't immediately feel terribly empty and far too quiet.

Both kids like school. Lucy is full of "other kids'" stories of feeling sad and getting in trouble. I expect that their enthusiasm will wane as the novelty wears off and the homework begins to pile on, but it has been very gratifying to be tackled by two smiling children each day as they exit the bus.

My plan to clear my head and think big thoughts has hit an initial snag: I still don't have much free time! After I exercise, run errands, and feed myself I'm left with no more than a total of an hour and a half until the bus arrives. While that is more than enough time to write record reviews or read a book, it's hardly enough time to pursue meaningful part time work. Obviously if I did that, some other things would have to change as well.

I'm introducing a regular feature to WWW (tiny drumroll...)

Today's career direction: working seems like a pipe dream, but feeling a slight pull to return to get an Ph.D. in English to explore relationship between poetic structure and depression.

It's part horoscope, part weather forecast and 100% useless.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Time out of mind

So tomorrow Lucy starts Kindergarten and while I'm hoping it will be a fresh start for me I know it's unrealistic to think that six free hours a day will turn me back into the bright-eyed, fast-thinking person I once was. Is it too much to hope that I'll stop getting stupider with each passing year?

Some things will definitely change, like having to type with the TV on. As I type this Lucy is watching some atrocious Nick Jr. show with young adults doing hip-hop in animal costumes; it's a little distracting. I do hope that having a break from direct childcare will free my mind to think about other things, such as what kind of work I might enjoy, or whether six hours a day, 10 months a year is even a realistic framework to pursue meaningful work.

I feel poised for change in a few other ways too. Venus is going on an indefinite hiatus (sigh), so I'll be spending less time writing and interviewing in the near future. Plus I've recently connected/re-connected with some friends (thanks, Facebook) which makes my social and musical life in Buffalo feel more complete. I suspect the next six years here will look quite different than the first six, and I'm happy about that.

I doubt Lucy will have the difficulties with school that Henry has had. She makes friends easily and already knows more kids than he did at the end of first grade. I also know that we won't be on auto-pilot. While Henry took easily to academics, I will be surprised if this is true for Lucy as well. I think she will be stunned by the amount of work her teacher expects her to do.

She still needs me now, so completely. She still cheers when I tell her that I'm going to get her dressed (which means I'll stand there and supervise for the sake of expediency). At the moment she's whining for me to join her saying, "I just want you." She just wants me to sit on the couch and watch crappy kids TV and hold her hand. And I'd be lying if I said I won't miss it that. But I'd be lying if I didn't also admit that it needs to end.