You know how sometimes you start feeling like there just isn’t enough of you? I’m in that place right now.
John and I went out for a burger on Tuesday, squeezed between work and PTO. My mom watched the kids. We should do that more often…
I see my neighbor outside with her sons in the afternoon. She goes out there with them while they play. I send my kids out there by themselves. Maybe she only does it because of the 1 year old. I’m sure that is the reason. But I can’t help feeling inadequate, especially when I go outside to find my three year old playing on top of the minivan. Other times I take him to the park and push him on the swing as I watch my other neighbor work in her back yard, making it look all pretty for summer barbecues. I think about how I should be doing that. And yet, Chip needs me right now. He needs the one on one our afternoons provide. And so our yard is riddled with dead grass, weeds, sweet gum balls and toys. Definitely not ready for any guests over the age of 10.
Mare is acting up. I think it is for attention. Yesterday she had to sit out for the first 5 minutes of recess because, she explained, Mathew is sooooo funny and she couldn’t help laughing at him. Then at piano last night she was, basically, teasing me (I feel your pain, Bird!) Specifically doing what she had been told *not* to do by her teacher, trying to keep little smirks off her face. I was annoyed. And as I drove home, I began to wonder. It was very obvious. She was making a choice to tuck her feet under her instead of keeping them flat on the floor, to dance around when her teacher asked her to come to the piano, to play when it was time to listen. She wanted me to see this. To remark upon it. To notice her. She is the middle child and she isn’t getting enough of me. She doesn’t throw tantrums the way her siblings do. She makes me notice in other ways.
Bird. Dear, dear Bird. She never got her groove back after the MAP testing. She is just kinda ready to be done with school. Spring Fever, I suppose. She isn’t letting herself fall asleep at night; she is tired and cranky. Lord, is she cranky. She is bored after school and yet throws a fit when it is time to go to dance. I spent half an hour yesterday trying to get her to just go already. After monopolizing me for the half hour, we dropped her off, I ran home and made a quesadilla for Mare and then go back and pick up Bird. John and I tag-teamed it so I could take Mare to piano. When we get back, Bird and I head out for her “mommy-time” at Starbucks. Where she is wonderful. A dream. This is what she needs, “family time” be damned.
And yet? I can’t give Bird, Mare, Chip, my husband or my house any more. There just isn’t enough of me for that.