I attempted something today that I believe is a first for me as a mother. I attempted to run errands with my 2 kids, hitting 10 stops along the way. Ten. It gives me anxiety just thinking about it!
You see, today is the very last day of summer vacation before the very first day of school, 2014. No pressure. Yesterday, we had a fabulous day. Jerry (my husband) arrived home late Monday night from his retreat weekend (aka seeing Phish 3 nights in a row in Denver, CO) and, brilliant man that he is, had taken Tuesday off. We went to Shogun, Hibachi Grill for lunch, we bowled, we played arcade games, we watched part of the Hobbit, we ate Ben & Jerry’s Phish food froyo (in our bed). All with no pressure attached, lighthearted playfulness in abundance. And then Wednesday came. Yikes. I’m pretty sure I was a nightmare. A “getting-shit-done-like-nobody’s-business” sort of nightmare…with a visit to Taco Bell and a playground built in…but a nightmare just the same!
So. At the end of the day I realized we had made 10 stops in our adventures today. 9 which required removing the children from the car and bringing them with me. 9 opportunities for one of the smaller humans that I care for to be hit by a car. 9 opportunities for me to lose my shit about something and scar my kids for life. 9 opportunities for Mommy dearest to look like a raving lunatic mother who doesn’t quite have her whole kit and caboodle together. And the one stop that didn’t require me dragging my children from the car? I forgot to bring the thing that I was dropping off at that stop. The thing that I had deliberately driven to Providence to drop off, all the while debating in my head if I was making the best choice and mapping out the most efficient driving/errand pattern (pretty sure there was room for improvement).
At the one point on our adventures that was deliberately intended for recreation and relaxation (new and exciting playground), I worried my way through the visit. I thought there was an unmarked police car about to give me a ticket (unclear signage near the playground we visited–as it turns out I was being paranoid). And then there was the National Grid van that kept the engine running for 20+ minutes…hmm…what sort of racket is that guy running?!
I allowed today to run me in a way. I went into manic mode (very comfortable and familiar for me), I got nutty. I didn’t breathe deeply or intend to be present. If I shift my perspective and come from this place, I can see today as 9 opportunities for teamwork. I can see 9 opportunities for my kids to show me how grown up they are. And there are 9 opportunities for me to exercise the continual practice of patience and self-restraint that parenting offers. Ahhh….
The end result is that we made it. We did it. It kind of sucked (or, in the words of Dylan during his “Roses & Thorns” over dinner tonight: “I had a great day. Well, I wouldn’t say it was a great day.”) It was a day that needed to be had. Just like yesterday (the day of freedom, relaxation, delight and connection) was a day that needed to be had. And we made it through.
My boys start a new chapter tomorrow. Dylan starts 2nd grade and Cooper becomes a Panda Bear (moving up from the Mousketeer room). Cooper is excited, Dylan has been quiet on the subject. I expect I will have more to say about it tomorrow!