This past year, even grandma got involved! My retired mother has extra time on her hands and ended up in my daughter’s class on a weekly basis. Having this extension of our family in the school and participating only strengthened our tie to the school. Now, grandma and grandpa have a better idea of what my kids are learning. This translates into more engaging conversation between them and a stronger bond.
Not only was I neglecting my family and friends, I was neglecting myself. I fretted and I lost sleep. I was tired… so, so tired. Some time away from my career allowed me to refocus on what is truly important in my life. Around the kids, I was much more relaxed. I could contribute more to the family by making sure the house was in order. I became much more present, but I still craved meaningful employment.
I’m so proud of my kids and their lack of judgment towards others. At one point, after handing a sack to a man who was fixing his bike, my son said “He didn’t have any fingers. I bet it’s hard for him to fix his bike.” He wasn’t afraid, he didn’t mention this man’s dirty clothes or unkempt hair. He felt empathy towards him, simply noting the difficulty he might encounter completing an ordinary task.
My heart broke. I was not prepared for this conversation. Didn't we have at least one more season of holiday cheer and magic ahead?! I quickly came up with a plan to minimize the damage. I told him that he was now part of a very exclusive and secret club.
Have I mentioned that Pecos, NM, has the lousiest cell coverage ever? I attempted to get my husband on phone, which was like the old cell phone commercial – “Can you hear me now?” NO. This is where I would normally lose my cool and breakdown. I might get snarky and rude. I might cry. But I had no other option but to remain composed and calm, for the sake of my kids. I had to figure out what to do next.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a mouth like a sailor. I had always thought that I’d tone down my choice of words when I had children, but it’s become quite the opposite.