Monday, June 28, 2010

4 Years and 3 Months

Dear Little Bit,

I've missed your monthly birthday again. Back on June 16th I really couldn't think of what I wanted to put down. We are now knocking on July's door and it turns out that there is something I would like to write down for prosperity's sake.

You go to school/daycare every day. Back when you were 11 weeks old and it was time for me to go back to work there was never really an instant that I waiver with that decision. Although I loved those 11 weeks that I spent with you, I missed my job, my friends at work, and just simply being out of the house. And I knew that you would fare better by going to day care than you would with me day in and day out. Oh I'm sure you would be versed in every episode of Days of Our Lives and Food Network.

You turned one and we moved day cares. The new one tried to kill you with a peanut butter sandwich. So we switched again and you have been at the same place since you were 14 months old. You turned 2, then 3, then 4. And never did I question the path you were on.

Recently, however, something changed. All around me the signs of summer started rolling in. Public school was out. It was 95 degrees in the beginning of June. I started feeling like a train slowly moving down a track that was gaining speed. And it was a Tuesday evening. Tons of kids were outside playing, you included. You were running as fast as your little feet could carry you. Your hands and feet were filthy dirty. The sun began to set. But I didn't have the heart to tell you to come inside and get a bath and get ready for bed. Why should you have to? Everyone else was outside having fun. But not everyone else has to get up at 6:45 am and go to work with their mom and dad.

So we let you stay up late. And we dealt with your grouchiness the next morning as we went through our morning routine. All day long I had a nagging feeling. Summer kept coming on in full force. Summer activities began starting up. And that nagging feeling grew. And it hit me in the face that although it's not 1950 anymore sometimes the world still operates that way. Sometimes it is assumed that if school is out for summer then parents must get a summer break as well. All kids from 1 to 18 frolic around without a care in the world. Well this isn't Neverland. It's reality. And the reality for you is that while some kids are sleeping til 9 or 10 o'clock you're up and ready for the another day of the same old same old.

I so wanted to sign you up for swimming lesson at a certain pool. A few pools actually. But place after place only offered them during the day. And for some reason, which I'm haven't quite figured out why, this little issue completely sent me over the edge. It burned and gnawed at me from the inside out. And for one of the first times I started having regrets. I regretted taking my transcripts back from the education department and marching them back to the political science department at WVU and then staying on to go to law school. I regretted not marrying a millionaire. HA! Truthfully, I started having this feeling of unfairness and bitterness. All because of swimming? I think maybe the swimming was just the icing on the cake. Sort of sent me over the edge. Running through my head nonstop, was this feeling that you would never truly know what "summer" felt like. You would never have days upon days of nothing to do but wonder what you might do tomorrow. I was angry that because I work my fucking kid wasn't going to lean how to swim. And the minute that thought ran though my head, my head answered back and said "on the bright side, you work so you really your kid won't be going to the pool that much anyway. " Not the answer I was looking for.

I'm not sure how the rest of your childhood summers will start and end. If years from now you look back full of resentment I want you to know that this whole issue did cross my mind. I wasn't ignorant to your plight. And I'm sure this is just one of the many many things that we will do that will totally screw with your head. Hey we try our best. If you are one day sitting in jail and the prosecutor asks you "why you did it?" you can tell him that your childhood was robbed because you didn't get an official summer so now you are full of hate and rage. But what I hope is that you know just how much we love you. We don't love you any less than moms or dads that stay home. Actually, I probably love you more because I do work. Because if I didn't I'd probably been in a loony bin somewhere. And although you might not get to sleep in when you are 5 or 6 or 7, there is more to this world then June, July, and August.

As for swimming. That worked itself out too. And you can swim better than some pansy ass little 6 year olds who spend 8 hours a day pool side. It started out rough. Of all the teenagers and college students on the planet working at pools in the summer you got the one with the history of scaring the crap out of little kids. Those first 2 days you cried your eyes out. You begged me not to take you. You tried escaping from the pool. You yelled at him. And he yelled at you and told you that you were finished with the baby pool and water wings which broke your heart. You would lie and say you had to pee or that your tummy hurt. He didn't baby you. And he wasn't going to let you win. And on day 3 you came out of the pool smiling. And on day 4 you skipped your way to the diving board. And you gave that guy, who not a week before you said was mean jerk, one of your precious silly bandz. A shark. Because he didn't have one and he needed one because he worked in the water. And you wanted to thank him. Thank him for teaching you how to swim in the deep end so you would no longer be left behind. And when you dug in my bag to find it and handed it to him, in that moment you made my heart melt and shit maybe even his. It's probably not every 22 year old who gets gifted a .20 cent plastic bracelet just because he didn't give up on you.

Love Mama


Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

I know how you feel. Every summer I get so frustrated. Why can't everyone have off all summer long?!?!?

And what the frick is up with all activities for kids being scheduled during the work day? That just irritates the crap out of me.

(I deleted the other post b/c it was written by someone that didn't have her coffee yet. LOL)

Anonymous said...

Oh Kim! You are singing my song! I have those same thoughts every day! I hate the 10:30 am Wednesday morning mommy and me gymnastics class! I HATE the 4:30 pm ballet class! I HATE after care! I want my kids to be kids and all I do is run them around and yell at them because they aren't moving fast enough.

Anonymous said...

Sophie will remember all the fun things you do and trips you are taking with her - which you couldn't do if you weren't working. There's pros and cons either way.
Sophie can spend a week at Aunt Amy's anytime!

Jonathan's Mommy said...

Girl, you may be my long lost sister! You have echoed my sentiments exactly! Especially the swimming--WTH???

I 100% agree with you that working is the right thing for me. I love Jonathan with my entire soul and cherish every moment that I have with him, but I need to be out and working and doing adult things. Kuddos to the SAHMs out there, but I know that it would not work for me.

Awesome job to Soph on the swimming! My kiddo is not there yet, but we are working on it (at the one place that I could find evening lessons, LOL!!)