Lots of nights, I’m a pretty good mom. The kids get their homework done, they’re fed, they’re ready for tomorrow. I pay them some individual attention. I try to keep things fairly low-key, with minimal screeching and flailing from all parties.
But every once in a while, it just all comes together, and I end up being a seriously kick-ass mom. We never left the house tonight, but we put together an evening we won’t forget.
It was all so simple, really. Not worth the number of words it would take: trust me, I just tried. By the time I wrote out the first hour of the afternoon I was sneaking up on a thousand words, and none of it was especially interesting. (And, I know, what you’re a lot more interested in is something along the lines of, “Kate! You were in a mental hospital! What the hell happened? What was it like? Details, woman!” I’ll get there, I promise. I’m not in the least averse to talking about it, I just needed some time to kind of hibernate within myself, really focus intently on my children and husband… plus Willem had arranged
babysitters friends to visit me each day last week, and I’m always going to focus on the person in front of me over the phone or computer.)
But for the moment, just let me bask a little. The kids had a seriously fun, silly, interesting night, I felt competent and productive and just on top of it all… that’s something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Since March, I’ve felt like I can either get a lot done (just dishes and lunches packed, that sort of thing), or I could get everyone in bed at a reasonable time, but not both. Tonight, they were in bed, reading quietly, by 8:15, despite having spent well over an hour playing with their little capsule-grows-into-a-sponge things in the tub (wearing bathing suits, now, as the prospect of incipient puberty rears its ugly head), working on their longer-term assignments (each has monthly book-related projects as well as nightly homework), Jacob lost his other top front tooth just a day after both of Isaac’s top teeth popped through… you get the idea.
Willem is feeling sick – we all shared a quick but horrid stomach bug last week (the word “projectile” applied), which happily only lasted about a day each and none of us were sick at the same time), and Isaac has been miredin his first really miserable cold, all rattly coughs and runny nose and low-grade temp, which is hard to feel too sad about because it makes him very soft and warm and cuddly – even more so than usual.
So, I was running the show tonight. To an outsider, it might have looked chaotic or confusing… but, for the first time in, I don’t know, long enough to have noticed and appreciated it, I felt completely solid and steady.
It feels good. I missed me.