Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nine-Year Napping

image courtesy target.com


I know, I've been MIA lately. It's like I got back from Canada and jumped back in the mommy race and haven't stopped running since. In random order, a few things I've been doing/thinking about lately, not all parenting-related:

Over the weekend we went to the local college's annual Halloween carnival for townie kids and families. My girls went as Hermione and Dumbledore from Harry Potter (probably didn't need to add that reference, did I?). Genevieve's paper beard is pure awesomeness. I haven't uploaded my pictures yet so you'll just have to wait until later this week to see.

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I do not understand people who do not like candy corn. What is not to like? Do you like sugar? OK, if you don't, I understand. But if you do, wha....???? But listen. As all true candy corn addicts know, one must eat only the original Brach's. ("Made with real honey!") Any other brand is completely inferior in both texture and taste, and then it really does stray into the "not worth eating" category. Also, the chocolate kind with the brown stripe at the bottom? No.

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For the first time ever, I am not helping with either of the girls' school Halloween parties. That is because, since I already helped with the Walk-A-Thon and am leading weekly book groups in both classrooms starting next week, I feel justified in passing this little opportunity on to other moms (or dads). Which makes me very happy, because leading a small group of advanced readers in book discussion in a quiet corner somewhere sounds ten million times more appealing than running game and cookie-decorating stations for sugar-charged grade-schoolers in costumes. Gah. The boys, especially, get so crazy and hyper. Despite several years doing just that, I am not cut out for that job.

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All day yesterday the local news people kept talking about how it was supposed to snow/rain/sleet overnight and leave a half-inch or so of slush on the ground this morning. I wanted to scream, "Noooooooo!" every time I heard that, and not just because I had completely forgotten to have my daughters try on last year's snow pants and also to cut down our flower beds. Oops!

(No worries. Didn't happen.)

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I have been semi-looking for a part-time job outside the home. I even went on an interview and have also considered re-opening a small solo therapy practice. Then I think, "....Hmmm." :(

Part-time jobs that fall only within the hours of children's school days are few and far between (as in, pretty much non-existent). And who's going to take care of them in the summers and on school vacations? Opening a practice is expensive and, particularly in the current economic and health insurance climate, very risky.

More than anything, I often realize that my passion lies in what I am doing now: running my household and raising my girls. I wake up each morning happy with the job ahead of me that day, and isn't that a rare thing? I really think people should (if at all possible, which it not always is, of course) love what they do. Life is too short, you know? Well, I love what I do. I'm not sure where to take that. But there it is.

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Speaking of the above, have you read the novel The Ten-Year Nap, by Meg Wolitzer? This book came out a few years ago, and was a New York Times bestseller, but I only discovered it recently. So, so good. It's about a group of friends, all stay-at-home moms with school-age kiddos but with disparate family and personal situations, and the life questions, choices, and transitions they experience as their children grow older and their stay-at-home mom status is questioned. I swear Meg Wolitzer articulated entire conversations I've had with my bestie this autumn.

I loved this book and cried at the very end. I won't give anything away, but on the final page, the owner of a diner where the friends have met regularly for years after school drop-off notices that he doesn't see these regulars--the four moms in the back booth on weekday mornings--anymore. Meg Wolitzer writes, in the thoughts of this man, "The world had taken them. He knew that this could suddenly happen. One day you woke up in the morning and there was someplace you needed to be."

And no few sentences have ever so precisely and poignantly summed up exactly what happens when a years-long stage of motherhood ends, whether you're ready or not, and everything around you changes.

Read it. Especially if you're a stay-at-home mom. I think you'll like it.

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And now I'm off to make my specialty chocolate cake for a friend's birthday brunch I am co-hosting tomorrow. I promise someday soon I'll come back with something less random (sorry!) and more interesting (I hope?) to say.


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