Skip to main content

Homework fights, lunch dregs and truncated days

I wish I could look on back to school with some excitement. I certainly remember as a child feeling nervous but psyched to go back and see friends, even meet my new teachers. (Yes, a bit of a nerd. I know). But I can't even find a remnant of that feeling. In reality, I should be thrilled to be getting "my office" back. After all, summer can be tricky for me -- I write and report from home as a freelancer and having The Kid around asking questions, wanting me to listen to something she's just read, or help her with a project can fracture my time in a truly overwhelming way.

And the truth is when she leaves for school Thursday morning I will thrill in the quiet. For about 8 minutes. Because actually -- besides missing her tremendously -- I know what will be coming by the end of the day: fighting over homework, opening a lunch box that's still full of uneaten smashed food, and knowing that just as I want to really stretch my hands over the keyboard to let the writing flow go, I'll need to race out to get her. And while my work day won't end when she gets home, those afternoon hours as I conduct interviews, and sketch out stories and pitches will be a wrestling match with her need for attention.

I know I'm hardly alone with millions of working moms out there. And that helps give me the stamina to keep at it. I love freelancing. I love the diversity of my work. And I truly love the editors I have now worked with over the years. And I am quite skilled at settling back down to finish a draft or edit in the evening when the apartment is quiet, and the dark hush of the city lulls me back to the keyboard. (I actually love writing at night.) But the afternoons? Tricky. And as she gets older? Even trickier. She may be able to do more now. But someone she seems to want me more. And of course, not want me more. (Yes, pre-teens start early.)

So forgive me as I don't cheer over the new lunch bags, and new school shoes and fresh new notepads and sharpened pencils. Forgive me as I brace myself for the year ahead. Somehow though I know it will get easier -- about the time she sends her first child off to school and I smile thinking, 'Better you than me, Kid. Better you than me.'

Comments

Anonymous said…
What goes around comes around - And you wouldn't change one bit of it!
Manhattan Mama said…
You know it Anonymous! But sometimes, a pause button for a breather would be welcome... ;)

Popular posts from this blog

Apologies for being incommunicado this week and hope none of you out there are too distraught not to be receiving the usual almost-daily MotV missives. The reason for the silence is that I'm up to my neck, metaphorically-speaking, in research papers for my first grad course assessment. This experience has made me realise how rigorously un-academic I am in my thinking. It has also illuminated how reliant I am on red wine in order to get through endless evenings typing furiously on my laptop, not to mention the fueling of increasingly colorful curses that I feel obliged to aim at the University's online library system which consistently refuses to spit out any of the journals I'm desperate for (I refuse to believe this is 100% due to my technical incompetence...)Oh well, if this is the price one has to pay in order to realize a long-cherished dream then it's not all that bad... No one ever said a mid-life career change would be easy. Wish me luck!

Recommended & the Mahiki dance-off

My GFs and I went to Mahiki last night, great fun as usual but made me feel a bit old; it seems that Thursday night is the playground of the just-past-pubescent. Oh well. Good tunes though, so whatever.In between taking over the dancefloor - the youngsters may have youth on their side but frankly that shrinks to insignificance in the face of two decades of clubbing experience - one of my GFs and I got into a conversation about why so many people are full of bull.It appears that many people we come across are content to live their lives in a superficial way, skimming the surface of what life has to offer and equating the ownership of stuff (cars, houses, boats, jewelry, designer clothes) with happiness. They converse in terms of status, strut their possessions as a measure of their own self-worth, take themselves far too seriously, are quick to judge others, easily annoyed, complain a lot about very little and their worries seem to far outweigh their joys. Personally, I think all that…

Champix

Following on from the realisation that my lungs are filthy and if I don't give up the smokes soon I face a life of wheezing at best, off I trotted to see the charming Dr T.

Dr T, who's charming by virtue of the fact that he's less jaded than the other doctors in the surgery (in other words, he treats patients as if they're human beings with a right to NHS services rather than annoying fraudsters trying to gain sympathy for imaginary illnesses) promptly put me on potentially habit-forming drugs to get me off the evil weed. Something doesn't feel quite right about this but since I'm so pathetically grateful to have a doctor who's willing to give me more than two seconds of his precious time, I have acquiesced to his demands.

Anyway, this wonder drug is called Champix and promises to have me merrily chucking my smokes in the bin in no time. Or it will if I can get past the possible side effects, the highlights being abnormal dreams, nausea, flatulence, snoring, …