Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Favorite Place

I'm traveling with my husband this week without our kids. I've left my kids before, but never for this long and I'm already missing them. The thing is, I could go to fabulous places anywhere in the world, but I think my most favorite place in the whole world is a double bed with safety rails, covered in car and airplane sheets.

Every night I tuck each of my boys into bed. I lie there with them in their beds surrounded by their stuffed animals and monster truck shaped pillows, and it is delicious. If you have kids, you know exactly what I mean by "delicious"; there's no other way to describe your beautiful children, fresh from a bath in their cozy pajamas snuggling next to you. This is our good-night ritual. We lie there in the dark and talk about the day, we tickle, and we giggle. Our "good-nights" drag out and most nights its not their fault. Rarely is it them delaying their bedtime, but me wanting just one more kiss, just one more hug, just one more story from their day. And sometimes I linger too long and they fall asleep in my arms. Its my favorite place because its our place. Sometimes its all four of us reading together and its everything I need all in one place. I'm sure I'll be thinking about my favorite place every night while I'm out seeing the world. And I'll be looking forward to coming home because my whole world really just fits in one bed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Absent-Minded Professor

I forgot to pick my son up from school today. There, I admit it, I'm publicly stating I was a little absent-minded. And, I'll admit its one of the most harmless, yet still horrifying things that can happen. He only had to wait 15 minutes for me, but its one of the worst feelings in the world; that second when you realize that you have no idea what time it is, followed by the sudden realization you are supposed to be someplace you are not. I usually have my stuff together and these types of moments are very rare for me, but they happen. I'm only comforted by the fact that one of my dear friends had the exact same scenario happen to her last year, so I'm not the only one.

Although my son was completely safe and absolutely unaffected by me showing up 15 minutes after school was finished, I was still horrified. What is so unsettling to me is that there was a period of time that I wasn't thinking about where my kids were. There was a span of minutes that seemed to just disappear. I was sitting in front of my laptop and was watching the time on the clock display in the lower right corner, but at some point it just stopped registering. What's funny is that I got immersed in a document I was working on regarding my kids, so they were on my mind, but I still lost track of them.

On my way to go fetch my son who was patiently waiting for me in the school office, I was thinking how strange it was to have lost track of him in my mind for any period of time. I'm not sure how many minutes I have spent since my kids were conceived where I haven't had them running through my mind. I'm always running a check when they are not right there holding my hand: where are they, are they safe, do I need to be doing something for them? Its like a loop that is always on in my brain while I'm awake, and probably while I'm asleep too. There was obviously a glitch in my system today, but it made me realize just how much of my time my kids consume, literally every second. That's a lot. So, although I do not profess making a habit of being absent-minded, I'm going to stop beating myself up for today's harmless episode.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The school year is coming to a close and every conversation I have had recently has started off with, "So where are your kids going to camp?" The norm on the Main Line is to send your kids to day camp for part of the summer, if not the whole summer. So, I've been confusing everyone when I answer that my kids aren't really going to camp this year. My 4 year old is doing one week while my 6 year old is finishing school, but after July 1st, we have zero weekday plans. Yes, that's right, I have an entire summer pretty much unplanned. And for the one person that actually said to me, "Oh, I'm sorry", I did that on purpose.

Its not that I'm opposed to camp. We've done lots of camps in past summers and it does provide a nice structure and a respite from having the kids home all the time. And if you're a working parent, camp is necessary to replace school and keep the kids occupied. But, as a stay-at-home mom I am really craving a break from structure. I don't want to have to be anywhere. I'd really like to just sleep in when we're tired, go for a walk when we feel like it, and take some spur of the moment day-trips when the weather is great. Camp is too much like school - we're rushing around every morning trying to get out the door and in the evening my kids are too exhausted to stay up much past dinner. No, I'd rather deal with the possible scenario of quarreling kids for the possibility of lazy morning breakfasts on the patio and staying up late to catch lightening bugs. Those are some fond memories of my childhood summers, without camp. And honestly, I'll assume the risk of my kids annoying me and each other if it means I don't have to pack lunches or unpack back-packs all summer.

So yes, I've gotten a few crazy looks when I reveal my plan for the summer. And I fully acknowledge that I may actually be a little crazy after a full summer with my kids at home, but I'll take my chances. Its just a summer and summers go by fast. I read a quote once, "The only thing more fleeting than summer is childhood". I'm keeping that quote close to my heart this summer as I soak up my children.