Friday, November 22, 2013

Hit or Miss

Some days are a hit: everything goes well, the lunch is packed, eaten and enjoyed, the friends are friendly, fun and funny, and the world is a happy little fishbowl of harmoniously swimming guppies.

Other days, everything SUCKS. I have starred in both of these lately.

Having two little ones is a challenge, and God bless those with more. Two littles and a full-time job PLUS planning a dance production, attempting to prep/clean up for the holidays, trying to get ahead with new technology and basically trying to SURVIVE is straight chaos. Unmitigated, step-over-the-landmine-if-you-can CHAOS.

Case in point: The Halloween decorations that I put up (early, mind you) were painstakingly taken down and put in the upstairs hallway, the limbo before the attic. They are still there. Thanksgiving is in one week. I have had no time to put them into the actual attic.

Time has been flying by so quickly, and while I do feel like I am accomplishing a lot, sleep is falling by the wayside. I haven't slept a normal night since, oh, August. And it's taking a toll.

Like, if anyone asks me a question that requires a complex answer, I will SHANK them. But in an attempt to stay eloquent:

As one who is lucky enough to be a full-time teacher during the year and a full-time stay-at-home-mom during the summer, I have experienced the joys and trials of both. And while I have always been upfront about the fact that being a SAHM is harder than my job, yesterday was an exception. Yesterday, I spent my workday prepping and planning for Parent-Teacher Conferences, which is usually not a big deal; the same types of parents asking the same types of questions: "How do we motivate him?" "Why won't she stop talking?" and while every student truly is special and unique, their age group brings about certain factions of questions. So it's a fairly easy, albeit repetitive, evening. 

So while the familiarity of my 20th PT Conference was a relief, the fact that I wouldn't see my kids was a bummer. John is in a deliciously huggy stage, and while Em's behavior of late indicates that she's growing into a strong-willed little lady, she's still my redheaded angel, and I wanted to hang out with her. 

But I missed it. I missed a whole day. Yes, I went home during my break, nursed my son and made my daughter dinner. Yes, I read her new "book," listened to her stories about school, made her favorite sandwich and snacks for tomorrow's lunch and helped her with her sticker book. I helped her choose a movie and comfy pjs and a cute tv show to watch until her Daddy got home. Yes, I kissed them before I left, told them I loved them, and promised I'd be back soon.

But I missed everything else. I missed whatever Em and her babysitter (who I adore) were laughing about when I came home, I missed her smile when she got out of school, I missed her crazy after-school excitement when she's bursting to tell me the latest thing Madison/Addison said/wore in class. I missed putting her to bed, and hearing her sleepy "Love you, Mama" right before she falls asleep. I missed Chubby's latest mischievous foray into the snack cabinet. I missed it. Missed it all.

There are times when parenthood is a hit or miss. Sometimes I hit all the marks and feel like Supermom. Other days I feel like I've been hit by a bus because I missed the moments. 

I drove home knowing I'd had a successful workday, but the buzz wore off knowing I'd be coming home to to a sleeping house. Luckily, John was awake, watching tv with his dad, a chubby mini-shadow of his future self. He didn't turn to look at me when I got in the door, but when he heard my voice, he ran to me with his arms in the air. And even though I was exhausted, even though I had spent the last five hours talking to other people about their children and wanted to get out of my suit and into my bed, I picked him up, and held him close.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

13 Things

So the Facebook world is sharing this new trend: here are some facts about yours truly.

1.     I have to write every day; recently it’s been in a blog that I’m considering sharing called Marlethemom. But it’s not quite ready yet. I’ll keep you posted. (haha - guess you figured that one out!)

2.     I’m a chronic and compulsive list-maker. I have lists of “things to do” “songs/steps to choreograph/to” “people to reach out to” and about a million other crazy ones. I make them all the time, every day, and I have a special notebook with just lists in it.

3.     I love paper, notes, post-its, cards, stationery, pens, and anything to do with books and words. In another life, I own a paeperie in Paris that I tend to at night after I dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. (Since this is my fantasy life, I also have really great hair.)

4.     I believe in heaven; I believe that babies choose us as parents, and I believe I will see all my loved ones again one day. Some days that belief gets me through the fact that my grandfathers never met my husband or my children.

5.     The fact that my husband proposed to me in Paris is one of the most poetic things that has ever happened in my life. I feel confident that when I am old, I will remember that day with clarity, though I might forget my own name. Ditto for our wedding day.

6.     Anyone who knows me already knows how much I love my job; I feel called to be a teacher and I am proud and happy to be one every day. (Not ALL day every day, but every day.) I think teaching is an honor and a privilege, and I feel lucky to get to know some very cool people when they’re just kids. I’m forever indebted to the three men who gave me my start in teaching. Also, the classes of 2000 and 2010 will always have a special place in my heart – I started teaching when 2000 were in sixth grade, and for the seven years I knew the class of 2010, I met my husband, got engaged, got married, got pregnant and had my daughter. 

7.     If I wasn’t a teacher, I’d be a dancer, but in my dream life I’d also be longer and leaner. I am so happy that my daughter has my husband’s build. I will never push her to be a dancer, but I am thrilled that she loves it, and that she already has the physical gifts if she wants them.

8.     My love for The Great Gatsby is deep and real! Even though I can quote almost the entire book, I love when my students point out something I didn’t know. I could read it all day and I think the language is beautiful.

9.     When I was 21, I competed in a national dance championship in Virginia Beach; my grandfather was in the hospital, nearing the end of his battle with cancer. Before I went onstage, there was a blackout in the building except for the light I was standing under. I felt like it was a sign from God. I asked Him for help and I got it; I gave the performance of my life, won my division, and brought the trophy home to my grandfather.

10. There are certain songs and scenes that never fail to make me cry (happy or sad tears), no matter how many times I’ve seen, read or heard them. John Proctor’s speech at the end of The Crucible, the end of The Great Gatsby, the end of Steel Magnolias, the music I choreographed Frank McCarthy’s tribute to, the music when the Christmas tree grows in The Nutcracker…the list goes on…

11. I have ridiculously sharp and accurate hearing that seems to get better with age. I hear EVERYTHING, from whispers to noises to full conversations, even from the other side of the room. My students try to test me with this skill, and I always catch them. That being said, it’s not a gift I asked for, and I often end up hearing things I DO NOT want to know.

12. I have a deep affinity and respect for anything having to do with the ocean, and I feel most at peace there. One of my dreams is to have a home on Martha’s Vineyard, which is my happy place. I wear an anchor around my neck every day for about a hundred different reasons, and loving the ocean is one of them. Having ancestors who were fishermen is another.

13. I love my children deeply and fiercely and am amazed that I physically created them. It blows my mind.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dear Lord, this is...

...not easy. Thus far, my kids have destroyed three rooms in the house, and I'm hiding upstairs until I hear one of them call my name.

And there it is. Later!