I can’t begin to find words to express how much I needed today off.  Do I say something like “desperate” or “exhausted”, because I already use those words on a regular basis.  We are incredibly fortunate to have my mum and Todd’s mom helping us to survive Aidan’s care each week.  My mum drives him back and forth, on her way to work (and it adds a boat-load of extra miles to her commute each week, so this is huge).  Todd mom cares for him all day, each week day.

My mum is gone for two weeks and we’ll be doing the driving – out 1/2 an hour to drop him off, then back into town, and then the reverse at night.  Todd’s doing morning shift with Bren hauled along and I’m doing afternoon shift, again with Bren hauled along.  I don’t feel bad for me or Todd.  We can take it.  But Bren?  He’ll be spending 2 to 2 1/2 hours each day in the van.  Poor guy.

So I’m planning to pack his Nintendo with me and I’m going to pre-pack a snack/dinner sort of thing.  We’ll make a breakfast casserole tonight, cutting it up cold and grabbing it with a napkin each morning.

If he can hang in there through this, I’ll do something nice for him….  maybe send him and dad to do something fun as a break.

Bren told me something wonderful yesterday.  He said it feels good to be a normal kid now.  If nothing else, getting him into that class has made that one significant difference  for him.  He got play time with his best friend from kindergarten and it looks like they’ll be taking karate together, two times each week.  I was worried that they would grow apart, now that they aren’t at the same school together, but it looks like it isn’t going to happen.  So that relieves some worry too.

One huge lesson I learned from last year is that it is really going to be up to us to keep Brennan excited about the things he’s studying.  I strongly suspect that our busy schedule and stress impacted the end of kindergarten for him.  Yes, he was having a hard time dealing with aspects of it, but we weren’t there for him like we should have been.  Knowing that and knowing how much he needs that reinforcement from us, I’m trying to set up a routine for us that avoids my school and work from taking too much away from him.  It’s a juggling act, but I think I’m figuring it out.

And we still manage to get together with the Mie Mie children every other week.  I lean on Todd for this one, so I don’t have to leave Aidan home.  I’ve got to say this… Todd is amazing about it.  We coordinate that herd of kids into the theater and manage to coordinate snack order, seats… the whole thing.  He stays with them in the theater while I do the bathroom breaks…  And we switch off holding the sleepy/sleeping toddler during the final minutes of the movie.

If anything were going to make me fall in love with my honey all over again, it’s watching how patient he is on those outings – or the fact that he does it when he’s so busy and he doesn’t complain about me drafting him into it.  Some day, when the gray hairs have taken over and the wrinkles are plentiful, I imagine I’ll have a moment where I’ll stop, look at him and remember these frantic, crazy days.  I’m hoping that those future days will include grandchildren and, hopefully, visits from the grown Mie Mie kids…  That would cheer my heart.

I haven’t got a lot to offer my friends right now.  My brain is filled up with the minutiae of daily living, coursework, learning at work, finances, and the endless struggle to get just a teeny bit of housework done.  I’m a tired mom, with kids growing at the speed of light, and an almost frazzled husband, whose brain is filled equally full as mine.

I miss being out with grown-up friends, but I know the true friends understand how it is for us.  I know they sit back and wait patiently for us to find a few minutes or hours to venture out.  I’m sorry I don’t have more for you right now, especially because I value and treasure my friendships with you.  I promise this isn’t forever.  And if you happen to know the name and number of good babysitter, please let me know because I might make it out just a little bit more if I had someone I could draft into working for us once in a while!!

A final note on this Labor Day holiday…  Everybody needs some downtime.  Everyone needs a minute or two to themselves, where they can stop and think about whatever they want.  Today I’m spending my downtime doing laundry, writing up a shopping list (and then executing said shopping list), and helping a first grader with his math.  Maybe it’s not exactly “me” time, but it’s just what I needed to be doing today.  So thank you to the powers-that-be.  Thank you for creating this holiday and giving me a break to spend time that I couldn’t spend otherwise.  I appreciate it.

Time to finish folding this basket, shower and get dressed before the small fry rejoins the family after a lengthy nap, and to get the first grader into clean clothes.  It’s another busy day in our household, but some coffee and a hot bath go a long way to keeping me going.

Cheers from moonfire and the crew…


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