Monday, January 7, 2008

Thank goodness it's Monday...

The Dancing Banana. You may have seen it a hundred times. It's an animation that sums up pretty much every excited emotion you have, with just one little yellow banana showin' off it's moves. It's moves evoke feelings of "Yeah! Woo-Hoo! Excellent! Yahoo! Yippee!" etc.... I had to add it here for today's post.

It’s supposed to be a wacky 65 degrees out, and the return to school today for the kids… those highlights are reasons enough to have had Mimosas at the bus stop this morning!

I have to say too, that I’m beginning my thoughts about this post right now at 9:15 am (probably won’t complete my post until later though….) and Olivia is STILL sleeping. She must be celebrating the weather and school resuming too. Tom called to ask how the first “morning back” went and if I’m enjoying the morning to myself. All I could do was let out a big huge sigh as if I was sinking down into a plush leather chair, “ahhhh” – silence. I got the 1st grader out the door, made a cup of hot tea for myself, ate some toast, read the newspaper, listened to a bit of Live with Regis and Kelly on the TV in the background, started a load of towels into the laundry and checked my email. All before 9:15 am. Bliss!

This routine is not out of the ordinary, it’s just that I have not done it consistently since December 19th. Do you know why I know exactly what date threw me off of my regularly scheduled program of life? It’s because my husband’s last day of work before his planned “Winter Break” began. Yep, that’s right, 13 consecutive days. At home. Together. This would not have been such a challenging feat if we were, say, in Hawaii or on another adventurous vacation away from home. But we weren’t. We were home, waiting for the holidays, prying our kids from the ceiling from excitement about Christmas, trying to coexist among the chaos of the season and throwing a wrench into my daily Domestic Duties as a homemaker. Ugg! Carter was on his Winter Break for 15 days too. Need I say more about that?

While one of us was excited to have some much needed time away from the daily grind of a career, the other was bracing themselves for the sort of Year End double-duty work load that most companies endure. Only, I didn’t have to turn in my final projects for the year and get a break – I was just beginning them. That’s how it goes. Of course, it was nice to have that second pair of hands around for running quick errands kid-free, tag teaming baths for the kids, and general helping out when needed. I’m sure there were a few times he would have loved a bubble bath to sink into and not come out until he resembled a prune. “Vacation” is a term he would use loosely when talking about his time off, I’m sure.

Having the kids home for a 15 day break is certainly no comparison to Summer break from school. But there are extreme differences in the two. During Winter break, the kids are on an emotional high (or low) from all of the excitement surrounding the holidays and traditions. While parents are trying hard to keep it stress free and low key (impossible!), they’re getting wound up tighter than a spool of thread. Another challenge is the weather over winter break. Sure, snow is fun. For about a minute. Then they cannot ride their bikes or scooters, or play on the swing set until said white stuff is melted. Friends are off having visits with relatives and the Christmas presents are has-beens by day 3. All the while, every entertainment spot is filled with aggravated parents and crazy kids trying to pack in their days and unwind at the Children’s Museum, Chuck E. Cheese, movies etc. Sure, Summer has it’s “I’m bored” moments too, but there is much more to do and enjoy when the weather is nice. Like tell the kids to go out and play, lock the doors and make them use their imaginations – without having to worry about frostbite.

You see – this is all why it would have been nice to toast with the moms at the bus stop this morning while sipping Mimosas and eating scones. But I didn’t have orange juice or even own a recipe for scones. I know I’m not alone in my celebration. It’s been a long two weeks. I’m happy to have the house back to its normal disarray, my regularly scheduled Domestic Duties in place (even if I have already swept up crumbs from the kitchen floor twice before 9:30 am and have sung Twinkle Twinkle 20 times), it feels much better in THIS skin. I’m a creature of habit; I like things to run like a well oiled machine. I don’t particularly like wrenches thrown into things (like school staff needing a break for 2 weeks and making our kids have to be home with us – how dare they!) I much rather have a reason to miss my kids. For instance, as soon as the bus left I felt a little heavy hearted, yet excited to see him when he returns from school today. It’s bittersweet sometimes isn’t it.... Got a good scone recipe anyone?


John said...

I make my scones exactly like Starbucks does. Isn't that a coincidence?!?

Karen said...

I know exactly how you feel! Christmas break is hard enough with the kids home but Rodd had 13 days off too! Summer holidays are so much better.