For those of you who know me or who are followers of my blog you will already know that I’m not a natural, born to nurture kind of mom, nor do I ever pretend to be. Playgrounds full of screaming kids turn my blood cold, hours (or in all honesty, minutes) playing make believe with My Little Pony is to me, a form of torture and my tolerance for looking after sick children lasts only for a day or so.
I love my children dearly and am, like all parents, limitlessly proud of their every achievement, but the relentless 24 hour/7 days a week nature of being a stay at home mom, quite frankly drives me cuckoo at times.
I have therefore been excitedly awaiting my youngest’s first day of preschool in the Fall. Five mornings a week of quiet, uninterrupted time. Oh the endless possibilities, watching Rachel Ray, laying on the sun lounger, reading People magazine cover to cover, the gym, a tidy house, the 10 novels I will write in a year! Then there is the return of the long naps she’ll take in the afternoon exhausted from a morning of stimulation. This is it, the utopia I have been working towards for the last 8 years.
And then yesterday we went to the beach. It was the perfect day, sunny with a gentle breeze and Flo was the perfect child. She was funny, affectionate, super cute and an absolute joy to be around. See for yourself!
As we talked about the fun we’d had that day while I settled her down to sleep, it suddenly struck me. Today is Mo’s last day of school before the holidays, which means this is probably the last of those Flo and mommy days I’ll have. Sure we’ll have the afternoons and the days when we go and do something special with just the two of us. But those days are so often filled with an expectation of perfection and a need to extract as mommy time as physically possible, to keep in store until the next time.
The last 3 years have been those precious just hanging out together times, with no agenda or opportunity for disappointment. Just the simple act of being together, doing every day things. Companions.
I know what you’re thinking, did Jo find some Prozac at the back of her bathroom cabinet or has she started early on the wine today. But no, I had a genuine profound and emotional moment. I even shed a little tear.
So when Fall arrives, if you see me getting centered at yoga, sitting at Starbucks with a coffee and a good book or browsing in Ann Taylor, take a moment for a little sympathetic thought. Because no matter how much I look like I’m enjoying it, (and I may really look like I’m having fun) you’ll know the torture I feel inside.