I just heard Daniel say: "You know, Anya, at school you have to do just what the teachers say. It's not like at home."
This comment prompted me to get my second glass of wine for the evening and have a good sit-down. You see, tomorrow morning Anya starts preschool. She and Daniel will be going together three times per week for the next month or so before the summer break. I signed them both up for lunch bunch, which means that the days they have preschool, I have an almost 4-hour block of time sans children.
Now, as it turns out, I signed up as a parent-member (the preschool is a parent coop), which means I have to volunteer a few times over the next four weeks. When you count a day off for Memorial Day in the middle of that plus all the days I'm obligated to be there, it really doesn't add up to that much free time for me. Still, it's more than I've ever had before.
I'm not really sure what to do with all this free time. Read a book? Knit a sweater? Deep clean the house? Tidy up the garden? Practice? (I do need to practice, actually.) Probably all of the above with a fair amount of pacing and hand-wringing thrown in. Anya, while excited about starting preschool, is still pretty clingy with me (I could count on one hand the number of times I've slept the whole night in my own bed without going to her in the middle of the night), and she is rather bashful in new situations, and so I worry. I worry that the 4-hour chunk of time will be too much for her. I worry that she'll get homesick and exhausted and overwhelmed. Rationally, I know that this is ridiculous and that she'll adjust soon enough, if not immediately; she does know the teachers and most of the kids already, after all, from Daniel's time there over the last year or so. She is nearly three and a half and she needs this experience.
So maybe I'm the problem. Suddenly I'm faced with a few hours of time to myself during the week and I'm at a loss.
I didn't expect this to be so hard for me. My babies aren't babies anymore! I've longed for this moment; for the past three years all I've wanted was some time to myself and now that I have it I don't know what to do. I think for tomorrow I'll set an agenda so I don't end up frittering the whole time away on the computer, reading meaningless celebrity gossip online and berating myself for not scrubbing the bathroom floor.
And this is what it comes down to. I'm 32 years old. I graduated at the top of my high school class, went to college, went on to receive numerous graduate degrees, had babies, became a housewife and now that my children are just beginning (just beginning, mind you) to grow up and gain some social independence, I am on the verge of falling apart. Crazy, huh? Can you imagine what it will be like when Daniel starts kindergarten this fall? Yeah, I better get a plan.