They're gone. Dropped off at 8AM this morning. I was nervous, momentarily, because when we got to school we didn't see anybody else outside the school. I thought, for a second, that I had the wrong day. This happened once a few years ago. I got to school on the Monday after the holiday break and discovered that I was a day early. I had to take them to Indiana that day so I could start prepping my classes. Never has a mother resented her kids more. But this morning, there was school. Sure, my son was complaining of a sore throat, but I took that to be his unwillingness to go back to school, not a real illness. (I am not a monster. I did take his temp, and he seemed fine.) Still, I am dreading getting a phone call from the nurse, asking me to pick him up.
So, I have loads of work to do after two weeks of being a full-time mom. Honestly, it is easier than in the old days to get work done when they are on vacation. When they were little, I had to watch them and play with them every second. Now, I can hide in my office and they can amuse themselves pretty well. If anything, I have to wrench them away from video games and force them to acknowledge me and do something that does not involve a screen. Still, I did no work. Partly, I wanted to be with them, and we did some fun stuff together -- caught a few films, went skating, took a trip to Boston to see family. We also had a few sick days -- slight stomach flu. And I spent a lot of time the first week either taking them to play dates, picking them up from play dates, or hosting playdates at my house. Plus, the first week we did a lot of cooking for our Christmas Eve party, which also meant we did a lot of grocery shopping and shopping for gifts for party guests, plus other holiday errands. But, at some level, I just decided to let go, not try to work, not get frustrated, and just be a mom. All along, I looked to today as the start of my working break (I still have two weeks before I start teaching again). Over vacation, I talked to a friend who has kids at my kids' school and when I asked if she was eager for them to go back, she said it didn't really make a difference to her. I thought she was crazy! How could she not be desperate to see them back at school? Shouldn't we all be ready to throw them out the door and yell hooray?
So, now they are gone and what have I done? Well, first I had to go workout. During their break, I used the elliptical in the basement but nothing very vigorous. So, this morning I headed to Shred 415 where they offer a 60 minute class that alternates between the treadmill and floorwork -- weights, squats, sit ups, more weights, bands, etc. It is gruesome but good. Got home and showered. Put laundry in. Made some tea. Then had to synch my iPad, iPhone, iPod. Caught up on email. Did administrative stuff for my classes, which start in two weeks -- organizing class websites, DVD streaming, reserves, syllabi. And, oh gee, I guess I'm writing this. What about the article I need to write? It is 11:15 now. Soon, I will make lunch. Then at 2:45 I have to pick up one kid and figure out what to do with him until 5 when the other kid is done with band. That gives me a few hours to get started. But, gee, it is hard to get going, to switch gears. How do you change from mom-mode to writer mode? Why can't I have a work coach who will yell at me, like the instructor at the gym? "Get on the computer! Type notes! Write an introduction! Now, now, now!" My brain is flabby, my ideas lost in a fog. By the time I shake off the dust, it will be time to switch gears again and help with homework, get ready for dinner. Some days I think I need a wife. Today, I want a work-wife, someone who will organize me at the office , sort my priorities, and help me do the work I need to do. But really, I want to just linger in my non-work mode and enjoy. I almost miss the kids.