31 May 2011

Working Mom, with just-graduated-kindergartener

And scene:

University office building. Early work morning. Mom has just taken chairs from around office and used blanket that she normally uses to fend off the a/c chill from vents above and created a "tent."

Child in tent.

Mom at computer.

Dad at office, miles away. If blocked, have father off stage, reading texts as disembodied voice.

Mom types through scene, working. Child talks from under tent. Also can pop out at will, interrupting with new drawings, requests for highlighters to use as markers, and Nintento DS assistance.

As told through texts from parent to parent. May be read aloud on stage.

DAD: Woohoo! Page views are spiking this morning. It is a
good day. It's looking really good for us meeting the monthly goal.

MOM: Yay!
Kid is camped out in a "tent" made of my chairs and a blanket I have here.
I'm plowing through email.

DAD: Enough room to bring the actual princess tent? :-)

MOM: No.

Sent at 8:19 AM on Tuesday

MOM: First meltdown over DS. Also, no stylus. Grrr.

DAD: Oh wonderful.

MOM: Sigh.
Three and a half more hours.

DAD: I'm starting to think we should have kept that
portable DVD. This is the exact moment it would be helpful.

MOM: Yes, but, she'll manage.

Sent at 9:04 AM on Tuesday
MOM: "How much longer 'til lunch, Mom?"

Sent at 9:13 AM on Tuesday
MOM: Just sent you a link to a pool. Thoughts?

Sent at 9:19 AM on Tuesday
MOM: annnnnddddd now we are pouting because I won't go home. Sigh.
I wish I knew a college student in town willing to earn some extra cash.

Sent at 11:30 AM on Tuesday
DAD: Very sorry.

MOM: She's just being a brat, albeit a quiet brat.

Sent at 11:45 AM on Tuesday
MOM: Hear that? That's the sound of silence. It is beautiful.

Truly, it wasn't horrible. Wasn't great. Can't wait for eldest to be done with finals so she can earn her pay as a sitter.

22 May 2011

Three years left

That seems melodramatic, and yet it is completely true.

I have three years left with my eldest.

I was sitting at the band concert two weeks ago, suffering through three different bands' worth of music. Then we hit the A1 band, mostly juniors and seniors. They honored the seniors who were receiving scholarships.

One's earned the right to attend the Eastman School of Music. I started to tear up, and I don't even know the young woman.

It got worse. The eldest's band director has a 26-year tradition of playing "Stars and Stripes Forever" as the last song for the seniors. Each one stood up, walked to the front of the stage. They played their best. This included the seniors who didn't ever make A1 band; they came up from seats specially placed nearby.

I was crying. Seriously crying. I barely know most of those kids. The clarinetist I know best, because she eased the way for the eldest as a freshman this year.

My first thought: I have to bring a box of tissues three years from now, because I am not going to make it.

My second thought: Dear God. I only have three more years.

My friends who have been through this already have warned me that the high school years go so fast.

It is easy to forget that, as you struggle to get through each week with band, soccer, Scouts, church, obligations. You miss the forest for the trees.

In my years as her mom, I've fretted about this, and this, and this.

In retrospect, they weren't that big of a deal.

Three years. I'm going to try and make the most of them before she grows up, goes to college, and leaves us to become her own person.