It’s been a while. When last you heard from me, I was knee-deep in summer festivities. And like every one before it, last summer flew by. It was a perfect combination of relaxed schedules, complete lack of attention to diet, and ample screen time. Then came September. This month should just be renamed: A Mother’s Shit Show. I spent the entirety of that month behind the wheel of my Uber XL. I drove back and forth on the Boston Post Road so many times that I familiarized myself with my friends license plates (because we’re all doing the SAME DAMN THING) and was able to wave each time we passed. We all had the same numb, blank look in our eyes. A look that says, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
When this wonderful world gets heavy and I need to find my escape, I just keep the wheels rolling, radio scrolling ’til my sins wash away.
BUT I had three kids in school. That’s great, right? Yeah, except one of them had to be picked up at 11:00am every day. So, does that count? I had just enough time to go for a run OR go to the grocery store OR hit CVS. (Please note that showering did not even make the top three.) It could never be multiple tasks. I always had to choose. And this was when I thought I was going to find time to write? Didn’t happen. So I told myself I would attempt to do it at night. I imagined the kids going to bed, pouring a tall glass of wine, wrapping up my nightly TV standoff with my husband and cracking open the laptop. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. Turns out that I am part narcoleptic. I can literally fall asleep anywhere. Soooo….September turned into the fall. Fall turned into winter, then spring, and now I’m back in the throes of summer yet again. So much happened in that year but not much changed.
A good bit of my life in the last year was spent behind the wheel of my car. Shuffling kids, mediating sibling arguments while operating heavy machinery, passing out lollipops to keep the peace, and marveling at how quickly my kids are growing up while simultaneously fearing that I might kill them if they don’t stop saying “diarrhea.” But what I did while all of this was going on was listen to music. I listened to clear my head, sing along with my kids, pass the time, ignore the potty talk, cheer me up, or get me through.
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through you when I play the highway FM. I find my soul revival singing every single verse. Yeah, I guess that’s my church.
This summer feels different, though. Despite the endless potty talk, my kids are getting older. We are free of diapers, bottles, and naps. Strollers aren’t always required. Time outs aren’t as useful to me anymore. Bribery is their currency. My older ones read books without help, make their beds, have killer armpit farts and are perfecting the art of talking back to their mom. My baby isn’t a baby. She has a fierce personality, possesses the fashion sense of a teenager, wants to start her own YouTube channel and can play outside without my constant supervision. But what really sets this summer apart from others is that this is the first time in eight years I have been alone for more than 2.5 consecutive hours. They are all at camp from 9 to 4, FOR FOUR WEEKS!
Can I get a Hallelujah? Can I get an Amen?
I spent their first week at camp marveling at this thing called “free time.” I did lots of dull, mundane tasks but I did them without time constraints. I shaved my legs more times last week than I did in all of April and May combined.
Now it’s time to get back in the saddle. Welcome back to my suburban rhapsody.