Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Taking in the Beauty of Childhood

I have been putting off making a post because I feel busy and like I can't form a cohesive thought.
But here's some stuff.

so this is the first summer I have had off since...about 1987. yes, really. I have worked every day since I turned 16. When my friends were on Spring Break, I was working my little Part Time job. Same at Christmas break. I worked through college. I worked when I graduated. I took as much maternity leave as I could with both kids (about 10-12 weeks each time) but they were both during the winter and hello...home recovering from birth and adjusting to motherhood=not a vacation. wonderful yes, vacation no!

So I am home with the kids this summer. They both go to preschool a couple days a week and they both love it so its good for everyone. But I have at least one kid 4 days a week. And in case you don't understand how huge that is for me...read it again. LOL I have been a working mother as long as I have been a mother!!

Last week was my first week of being a stay at home mom. Both kids are home on Mondays. It was just OK. But yesterday, week 2...was great. Nothing fabulous or super Martha-Stewart-y, but it was great. Its so WEIRD to have time to be outside with the kids as opposed to rushing home and getting them fed immediately. Its weird to be outside, period. This is Bakersfield...the surface of the sun. I have skin the color of snow white. We do not have a pool. Therefore there is not much reason to go outside. But Cliff and Amanda have a slip and slide that they love as well as just your usual childhood gear: the sprinkler, the splash pool, various toys that can sit within reach of the sprinkler and make them new and exciting toys.

Things that are new:

1) being outside

2) having TIME to do fun things

3) the possibility of getting a tan this year??!

4) not having to have my whole day finished by noon

5) paying attention to my dogs during the day

6) not eating out every day

7) peace...

I sort of feel like my "previous life" was so...sad. But in saying that it feels like such a betrayal....to both myself and my hard working mom friends. I loved working. I have never felt and do not now feel that my kids were done any wrong by daycare, despite the judgemental stories out there. But I do feel that the pace of my life was stressful. I AM on time more now. I just feel like I can breathe...although its taking some getting used to. Not getting home at 6 and having to cram so much into 2 hours before bed is so great. The pace of my new life is such a gift!! I do see myself probably getting a part time job when that becomes necessary and possible. But even at that...the idea of a part time job without the weight of the western propane world on my shoulders and without being on call 24/7 (I was) seems like a party in comparison to my "old life".

So that's all good. And in addition to that, I am getting to remember what being a kid was like. I am having to remember what summers were like. I don't entirely remember summers as a 5 year old. But I do remember wading pools and melting popsicles etc.

Amanda got tubes a couple weeks ago and is doing great. She started really talking alot right before the surgery and the talking has exploded since the surgery. She demands things all the time...I am not at all sure what the demands are though. She has so many words that I do understand though. And her comprehension is crazy. She follows sets of directions that Cliff still couldn't follow LOL

I watch her doing her fast waddle-walk-run through the house and her little pigtails and her screeching temper tantrums and giggle fests and I'm so thrilled with the exhaustion I feel.

Cliff is just a precious little monster. He's getting so big and smart. Nothing gets past him. He picks up on everything. I was on the phone the other day trying to get a coded play date together:

me: so thursday around 1? Ok cool. talk to you later, bye.

Cliff: who was that?

me: my friend

Cliff: who?

me: Jeneffer

Cliff: Jeneffer who?

me: my friend Jeneffer

Cliff: Jenelle's mom?

me: yes

Cliff: so are we gettting together this Thursday then?

me: (laughing) yes!

And today, he brought in a dead ladybug thinking it was the greatest thing ever. We kindly told him that dead bugs are not all that cute and maybe he should take it outside. I suggested he give it a proper burial. (I remember burying butterflies!)
So since he's never attended a funeral that he remembers (Thank God and knock on wood!!) I said "so dig a little hole, put him in there, say a little ladybug prayer and some kind words and cover him up"


so I eavesdropped on his funeral. He dug a hole, placed it in, said something about loving the ladybug, and then chanted (he's a pagan? LOL) "I wish the ladybug would come back to life, I wish the ladybug would come back to life..."

I walked away from the window smiling with joy.

Instead of cramming time into my laptop, I am now spending it camped out in a lawn chair next to a slip and slide, and other such summery activities.

We are taking a semi-impromptu trip to the beach next Monday. I haven't been to the beach since I was pregnant with her and I am so ashamed of myself. But with 2 kids its just alot of work. So much equipment up to now (exersaucers and swings etc). I miss the beach more than I can express to you. I could cry thinking about it. It is not a dramatic overstatement for me to say that my soul lives at the beach. Not being there is so hard. Leaving is always painful. So I'm excited to go. Even if the kids are terrible and the weather sucks. For me to stand on the beach and breathe in the ocean will be worth it. And I hope to be able to take the kids on a couple one day trips this summer. This will be a one-night overnighter with all 4 of us. I haven't been able to take any impromptu vacations in a long long long time.

We probably won't make it this year because Amanda is not quite civilized yet and I'm just not as brave as some of my friends, but we do want to go to Disneyland again soon. We took cliff for his 4th birthday. We traditionally go every November. but cliff starts Kindergarten this fall.
So moms, are we totally screwed? Do you get sent to parent hell if you have your kid miss 2 days of kindergarten and they aren't sick with the swine flu?!??! I am very sad about the possible death of our tradition. Because the idea of Disneyland in the summer with everyone else makes it just not even a happy idea. hot. crowds. more crowds. ugh. I.can't.handle.it.

someone give me hope.

But other than that, it is the glimmers of my childhood that I am thinking about lately.
Summer used to be the slow season at work. This is a whole new game.


  1. i read. i smile. such honesty. you are the real deal.

    and yes, you're okay to miss K for Dland. There is a parent-hell, but not for reasons like that. most parent-hell transgressions can be avoided with good communication. the poor teachers hardly know what to do with a parent that gives a shit. i vote Kelly B. for room mom!

  2. I love, love, love this post, Kel. I hope you have the most beautiful summer ever! Enjoy the beach! and please don't go to Disneyland in the summer. I've pulled out my kids for special things like that and I haven't been busted yet. :) Hope to see you when I'm in Bksfld in late July! miss you!