I waste a lot of time. This has always bothered me. I try not to, but I must. Because I’m busy all the time, yet I frequently feel as though I accomplish nothing of real value or worth. I mean, seriously, how can I be so busy, yet my house and life be in such disarray?
And yesterday was one of them days. Not one where you wake up and the day proceeds to go to crap from the get-go. No, it was one of those sneak attack types where everything is fine until late afternoon, at which point a hundred small things go crooked or sideways, culminating in a Mom-meltdown and a cranky evening for both parents.
And then – as is customary for me – lying sleepless in bed for hours, replaying it all, feeling terrible and stupid and mean; coming to the realization that T will be in middle school in September, not getting home until after 4:00, potentially experiencing who knows what in the school where (I’ve been told) “the animals are running the zoo”; imagining imminent run-ins with the (allegedly tyrannical) principal and subsequent appeals to the school board and superintendent; picturing the upheaval in our already chaotic schedule; wondering how Mace is going to survive in that environment (in 2 years); questioning (again) the choices I’ve made concerning the kids and school; worrying about high school to follow, how little time they will be spending at home, how much more time they will want to spend with friends – and who will those friends be? While we can teach about having good friends, staying true to one’s self, and being strong in the face of new influences, we are well aware that it is up to our kids to make their own choices and negotiate through the consequences that may follow; the inevitable teenage pulling away from us, not wanting to spend all (any?) of their free time with us, hiding out in their bedrooms, wanting always to be elsewhere; and the clothes and “stuff” they’re going to be wanting and needing soon, and hand-me-downs aren’t going to cut it, because I’m not going to let my kids be “those” kids who are painfully behind the times, yet neither am I going to let them have every ridiculous thing they think they “have” to have, and how are we going to afford that?!; and we only have 6 more years with T before he heads off to his (unknown) future – 8 with Mace – 10 with MaraJade – 15 with Eowyn! Aaaaahhhhhh!!!
(Yes, that is an accurate transcript of my average train of thought. It isn’t rational, it’s frequently lacking perspective, but that’s the truth. Frankly, it’s exhausting.)
All of which lead me to my all-too-common realization: I’ve wasted so much time. I’ve had these wonderful years to be at home with my kids, and what have I done with them? What will they remember? Is it really so important for me to be harping on them to DO THEIR CHORES and DO THEIR HOMEWORK and STOP FIGHTING and all the other ragging that seems to be my one and only occupation while they are home? Shouldn’t we take them out of all activities so that we don’t lose any of the precious family time that we have left? Shouldn’t I just homeschool and keep them safe from scary kids and lousy teachers and drugs and sex and the scary outside world??!!!
Somehow, I managed to fall asleep anyway, and with the new day came some much-needed perspective and positivity. I realized that while I may have not made the best use of the time I’ve had with my kids, and I’m going to have to *cringe* ADJUST to these upcoming CHANGES (I freaking HATE change, BTW), I still think we’re doing OK. PJ and I have made the choices we’ve made with the best interest of this family and the individuals therein. We have to teach our kids how to be responsible people. We have to hold them accountable for the little we ask of them, before we toss them out into a world which will be asking a whole lot more of them. They need to spend time in the tutelage and care of others – they must learn how to comport themselves without us there to remind and nag. We will figure out money and schedules and rearrange and renegotiate as frequently as necessary to keep a good balance. It will all be OK. I hope.
Oh, and time? It will keep on slippin’. I just have to learn to deal with it.