So I’m having one of those weeks (I know, it’s only Wednesday) where I am really not wanting to be a grown-up. You know the type. Too much responsibility, bills to pay, errands to run. Issues to handle, laundry to fold, dinners to come up with. I keep thinking back to when I was a kid, and all I had to do was sit on the couch (usually in front of the TV, it was the 70’s) and wait to be told it was time to come eat dinner, or go to sleep, or get up. Why did I not appreciate that more? And worse, why did I spend ANY of it whining about how I couldn’t wait to grow up and have more freedom? For WHAT? Going to the post office? Scheduling dentist appointments?
I can always tell when I’m in this mode because all I REALLY want to do is 1) buy a Slurpee and drive fast on back roads with the radio up really loud and 2) crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head. Both are still do-able, but frowned upon when you are a mother. Take last night. All I wanted was to drink a glass of wine, watch Dance Moms, and eat potato chips for dinner. But I needed to go to preschool Parents Night, make a healthy salad, and put together checklists of things I need to do in the coming days. Okay, just WRITING that makes me want a Slurpee.
Somehow, there has to be a balance, right? Between blowing off steam and having to constantly organize your plastic containers by size, shape and use? There’s a middle ground, somewhere, between the grownup me at 41 (okay, writing THAT makes me want two Slurpees) and the carefree days of, say, 12 or 13. (I will not say anytime between 14-25 was carefree: you can’t make me.) I think the closest thing I get, actually, is hanging out with my daughter. Yesterday I was awash with Responsibilities and Things That Needed Doing. Everywhere I turned I felt like I was hitting up against something, none of it good. Then I sat down with my kid to watch Max and Ruby, where the biggest problem is misplacing an ant farm, or losing a tooth in a cupcake. Drama! But on Max and Ruby, tellingly, there ARE no parents. And hardly any adults. I don’t know who is buying stamps and scheduling teeth cleanings in that universe. Maybe they don’t need them. I mean, they are rabbits.
Okay, I just read over that last paragraph. I don’t sound old, I sound insane.
In the end, though, preschool Parent night was just what I needed. Since I left teaching at UNC, I have no real sense of the academic year anymore. Growing up with professors for parents, my year ALWAYS began in late August and ended in early May, even when my own school ran a bit later. I knew I missed school supplies (I mean, who wouldn’t?) but there is also that sense of everything being fresh and new right as a the school year begins. The teachers at my daughters school were SO pumped. They are awesome. They’re exhausted from all the prep but literally cannot WAIT until the halls are bursting with kids, even with all the chaos it brings. Their enthusiasm is kind of contagious. And luckily, the love of a clean slate and fresh start is ageless. It will ALWAYS appeal to me, just like opening up a new notebook to the very first, clean page.
Speaking of which, I REALLY need to get back to writing. First, though, a Slurpee. Maybe.
Have a good day, everyone!