Saturday, August 12, 2006

shifting gears

First, a visual cliche:

The cherries have been abundant and delicious this summer. It feels like I've never bought them before, and perhaps I haven't. Before this year, no one but me would've eaten them, I think. The kids are growing up and growing into more tastes and experiences. It's quite a trip.

Last week was the second major life-shift in as many weeks: the First Day of School.

They started Thursday, having to become accustomed once again, or for the first time, to early mornings, dress codes, lunch boxes and all that. For the children, it's a shift up, but for me, it's not-quite-the opposite. From 8AM till 3PM I'm in parent-neutral, and then from 3 till bedtime, I'm on again.

I've been keeping busy with the tasks I've ignored for too long: cleaning out the garage, hauling out-grown clothing and toys off to the donation center, that sort of thing. Plus the usual housecleaning and grocery shopping and laundry, which could keep me busy all the time, but I push back against that idea. (No one cares if the tops of the bookcases are dusty, least of all me. The dust remains.)

DH and I had lunch together on Friday, kind of a mini-date, not even an hour stolen in the middle of his workday. He has to go out to eat anyway! When we were dating, a million years and three lives ago, we went out to lunch every Friday unless something dire prevented it. It's lovely for us to have this time again, and I'm really looking forward to establishing the practice, even if he just comes home to eat lunch with me here.

This week, we'll have five consecutive days of school, and it will be a challenge for all of us. Homework starts this week, and extra-curricular activities will be starting up soon. There is more than enough to keep me busy around the house, but my faith in my discipline wavers. I think, I'd like to get a job, but I have to wait until I get back from Houston.

There it is, again: I'm between gears, stuck in neutral. It's only for two more weeks, and then I can figure out something. In the meantime, I'll try to keep busy during the days and keep up with the kids in the afternoons. It's so odd to go from being around them all the time, every day, to having them gone for the better part of the day. They spend more time at school than they do at home in the evening, before bed: 7 hours there, 8:15A to 3:15P, but then it's 8:30P bedtime. No wonder the days seem infinite without them around.

I dislike quite intensely this feeling of having to stand still while my kids are zooming off into the future.

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