Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mommy Day

What a funny concept. A mommy day. Last week I think I worked about 55 hours. I ended the week with a 10 hour Saturday (no lunch) and arrived home at 6:30 pm. Matt says to me, "I think what you need is a day with the kids all to yourself. You've worked so much this week." I was thinking I needed a mommy day at the spa. Evidently Matt needed it more.

Of course, he's right. The more I'm away from the kids, the crabbier I get. And he and I are so so so very bad about splitting up when I'm home from work. He might go outside to cut the grass or run to the pharmacy, but that's about it. He rarely goes out with friends. By rarely, I mean he's done this once in the past 2 years. It happened to be on our 10th anniversary. And I happened to be working. (Don't worry, Grandma babysat).

Really I'm painting this picture of workaholic mother, enmeshed family. Nothing could be further from the truth. Well, maybe the enmeshed part. But whatever. I never bought into the 90s bullshit psychology that a close family is a pathologic family.

Back to Mommy Day. So Matt announces he's taking the camera, his book, and hitting the road. I'm thinking, why don't I get to take a novel with me when I head to work every day? So we kicked him to the curb, and started the mommy day right. With a cup of coffee and some arts and crafts. By arts and crafts, I mean, Michael colored one of the 8 million coloring books we were given when Lins was in the hospital. This particular coloring book is filled with Princesses. Michael's favorite. It has been colored many many times over.

"Michael, may I color her hair?" ... "NO!" So I got out the hole punchers and started making Halloween confetti (I know it's 2 months away, but last Halloween was spent on the 9th floor of Brenner's Children's Hospital. I'm really looking forward to this year. What was amazing is that Lindsay, who is generally all about being entertained by mom, was playing on the other side of the room with absolutely no interest in what I was doing. I watched for a while and it occurred to me that Michael wasn't really interested in whether or not I participated in the project. So I quietly got up and started doing some cleaning. This went on for 20 or 30 minutes.

Initially I felt guilt. It was supposed to be Mommy Day. Isn't it my role to entertain and enlighten? But then I thought about John Holt. Oh, right. There are things that need to be done. The linens need to be washed. Lindsay also had things that needed to be done. She needed to create her own world of children playing inside her doll house. And Michael had important tasks as well. He needed to color and re-color Belle's beautiful hair. Seriously. We each had our own important task. And at that moment, peaceful co-existence was all that was required. Later, the task at hand was football and more physical and mental interaction was required. And I loved that just as much!

It turns out that Mommy Day was a big success. Matt re-joined us in the afternoon. I was hoping he would be a little refreshed. But, it turns out he spent the day reading on a park bench, photographing the neighborhood, running several miles and then cutting the grass. He was every bit as exhausted as when I came home from work yesterday. Poor fellow. Guess he really is going to need that trip to the spa.

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