I glance at the clock on a warm July morning in the Valley. It’s 9 am. I would just be getting here now. What would I have missed? A lot. Very little of it scheduled. Ugh. How am I going to do this? “ I’ll just figure it out” I’d say to myself most days during the summer before my son started preschool. When I signed my contract in June, we verbally agreed to my dropping my son off at school twice a week. But I was now beginning to question how feasible it would even be and my anticipatory stress was growing. The summer went on and I did this internal check in most mornings. Gathering my own data as to which days of the week would work best.
Drop off and pick up are not big moments. A performance is a big moment, I would make it to those. The big revelations happen in the little moments. The thing he blurts out about his day when we are waiting for the carpool line to move. The teacher that catches me just as I pick him to tell me about something that happened that day. My presence is important for him to feel the stable force of his mother at the start and close of his day, or at least the start. It was even more important for me.
On the days I could take him to school, I felt like I had stolen a precious moment and was filled with happiness as I went about the rest of my day solving problems, making presentations, hiring, firing, making decisions, sitting in long meetings, all 25 miles away. The days I could take him were very few.
So, my heart broke a little each day.
As I put my son to bed one night during the first year of preschool he said “Mommy let’s both get up early tomorrow so we can see each other” as he hugged me tight. He had started sleeping a little later and some mornings I had to leave without even seeing him awake. I smiled and tried not to cry.
“Thank you for coming to back to school night we are off to a great start of the year. OK everyone we have a fun activity. You will see photos of hands and answers to questions. Please find your child based on the two.” I glance down and spot what I think are my son’s hands. I read the accompanying questions and answers
What makes you happy? When I see my mommy.
What makes you sad? When my mommy goes to work.
My heart is beating out of my chest and I can barely read the next two questions. This was the second year of preschool.
I am home now. I left my job at the end of the second year of preschool. I have since started this blog. I need a purpose and something to do. I have treated it like a business publishing on a regular schedule that I have kept to. It is not yet a business, but it is growing and I love the challenge. Most importantly, I am at drop off and pick up 99% of the time. I appreciate it every single day and yes, there have been a lot of big moments and revelations in the little moments.
But I do miss working. My son was home last week for five days sick. I felt privileged to be able to be home to care for him, but I also went a little stir crazy. I was thrilled to be home and dying to get out. I see both sides. I enjoyed both ways of life for different reasons. Working in a big job and working for myself. I wish I did not have to choose. I also don’t appreciate the pressure, the judgement and the need to categorize.
I can see both sides so well that it throws me off my center at times. Taking sides is killing society. But there is a comfort in decision and I have never looked back. Life on this side is good and I am grateful, but I do want more.
This week’s mani has both sides and is balanced.
The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June. The colors are “Surrounded by Studs” and “First View” by Essie Gel Couture.
Items in the photos include:
Denim Flats and here and here
Calf Hair Driving Shoes (on sale!)
Tunic (on sale!)