December 19, 2011 by themommahen
A couple days ago, I found out last minute that there was a PTA meeting at Hatchling #1’s school that I had to attend. The mandatoriness (new word, yo) of the meeting was self-imposed; I didn’t have to go. But attending PTA meetings is one of those things I said I would do if I ever had the chance to try my skills at being a stay-at-home-mom (or SAHM as modern media has dubbed us). Important to this story is that my SAHM skills were a little dull on this particular day of the PTA meeting. It was day five of yet another illness among the Hatchlings, and with all three home, I was feeling a little less than enchanted with my current title and a little more than sure that the Hatchlings were certainly suffering from my subpar SAHM-ness.
But no time for wallowing — it was PTA time and since H#1 was feeling well enough to return to school the next day (and surprisingly had been cleared by the doc with no strep or scarlet fever) and none of the others were exhibiting symptoms (knock on wood) Granny graciously ordered me out of the house to the meeting. I got dressed, came downstairs, had H#3 hanging on to my leg with H#1 and #2 each holding on to an arm as I attempted my exit. After at least five running-from-the-other-end-of-the-room, “Wait Mommy, one more!” hugs and kisses, I finally was outside, alone. I took a deep breath, exhausted from leaving, and got in the car.
I was probably two miles from the house when I felt that old sensation I hadn’t felt in a long time — that gnawing sense of being unwhole; an emptiness in my soul. I was actually surprised by the sensation, it’s been so long since I’ve been out of the house alone, but there it was. Exactly the way I used to feel when I left the hatchlings for work. Now, I wasn’t leaving for work and I’m not complaining, so don’t take it that way. It’s just, I don’t know, so easy as life flows on to forget the shade of your own grass as you gaze longingly at your neighbor’s.
I needed that reminder, that refreshing piercing stab into my gut of how lucky I am to have so much time with my kids. To have any time. To have what I have. Period. Why it’s so hard for some of us, or at least me, to live in the moment, I’ll never truly understand. But when an old friend wrote about it on her blog and put my thoughts into words (through the actions of a two-year-old, I might add) it was as if my sentiment had grabbed her by the neck and made her write those words and put them to her pictures.
And as if that wasn’t enough, I had another smack-upside-tha-head reminder moment when I pulled out an old journal I hadn’t touched for three years. From June 6, 2008:
This morning H#1 was so cute as I was leaving for work. “Thank you for playing with me,” she said in her adorably sweet little voice as she hugged me goodbye over her plate of pancakes, blueberries and syrup. Broke my heart with her sweetness. Oh, to stay home. If one day I do, I need to remember those moments when a little piece of me died every time I had to leave. Because I do know it’s not an easy job. But it’s so worth it.
Well played past self. Well played.
Photo of sweet, green grass courtesy of Gramps