Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ohdeargod...it's been a long time since I wrote

Goodness, I have a lot of things to discuss!  Someday, when my children are going through the stack of papers I left behind to haunt their lives, they will assume that they did nothing in the Summer of 2012.  Never mind the 8-week road trip, 3 weeks of daily swimming lessons, archaeology and Russian camps, Andrew reading books, Simone learned how to ride a bike, soccer, trips to the zoo, museums, and the occasional grocery shopping.

I suppose it's a sign of a life well lived that you don't have time to write about the life, but really...I've spent plenty of time wasted on other silly stuff.  I could have jotted down a few words.

Without my archivist writing, how will Grown-Up-Jack know that on Monday, he peered into a museum display case holding a heavily-jeweled belt from a king in India and said matter-of-factually: "That seems excessive for something that just holds up your pants." 

These are important life moments, y'all.

Or other giant life things, like: This is the summer when I gave up caloric drinks.  Except going out for drinks with friends.  And the occasional mimosa for breakfast.  Whatever.  Anyhow, I turned 34 and realized that at some point, my metabolism might not be my friend.  So drinking hundreds of calories a day in drink seemed an odd choice.  In doing so, I realized I authentically LOVE the taste of water.  Who knew?  I did not.  Because my water was usually hidden in lemonade, Coke, or Starbucks.  You live, you learn.

My children are starting Real School this fall.  Not the mish-mash of several co-ops.  Andrew and Simone are only 2 days a week still, but my Jack will be in school Monday through Friday.  9am to 4pm.  I asked him if he'll miss us, being gone all day like that, and he said: "Will I eat there?"  I assured him he would. And then he nodded and said: "That will be fine, then!"

It's a French immersion school.  Russian in the afternoon, too, twice a week. His private teacher from Virginia Beach, the one who has taught him since he was 4, is now moving to Richmond and was HIRED BY THE SCHOOL TO TEACH RUSSIAN.  Words.cannot.describe.the.glee.  This city is magical, y'all.  Amazing things happen here -- like vegan cupcakes sold out of food-trucks.  French immersion schools that hire his Russian teacher.  I love it here.

This is also the summer when I think I found myself again.  The Sarahbeth who loves to read, write (except blogs, apparently?), go to museums, spend hours chatting with friends in a restaurant.  When my children were babies, those parts of me took away from the very real work of mothering.  So I just shut those parts down, for a few years. They needed me on a regular basis -- to keep them from killing themselves, quite honestly.  You bury your head in a book for 2 hours when you have a toddler, and bad shit happens.  You do it when your children are 8, 5, and 4, and you can assume *someone* will find you if there's blood or fire.  It feels a bit miraculous, actually.

Weekend mornings, Steve and I find ourselves lying in bed until 10am.  Little people come in and out the door every few minutes, but we don't have to physically *get up* out of bed anymore. Everyone uses the toilet, can get their own dishes out, etc.  We put food on the "breakfast shelf" of the fridge and expect the house to look half-destroyed when we wake up, but it's a worthy trade-off.

I feel like my best mothering self when I'm most connected with who I am. I went away to DC for 3 days without my family last weekend. I took the Amtrak and packed white clothes and felt very non-mommified.  My college friend ended up in DC the same weekend, completely unplanned, and I stayed out until 3am having grown-up conversations and drinking wine. When I came home to Richmond?  I have perhaps never been more re-fueled. It was supposed to be a weekend of sleeping and unabashed laziness, but then the agenda was turned upside down and I barely slept at all.  What I realized was that being my non-mom self for awhile is one of the best things I can do for my mothering. Sometimes I need sleep to re-fuel, sometimes it's good to just miss my family a bit.  And have them run up and give me giant hugs as though I've been gone longer than 2 nights. :)