Grandmother Camp: Feeling Like Myself

This morning I stayed in bed until 8:30 a.m., got up and read and ate Indian food for breakfast (while reading at the table), then cleaned in peace. Once my husband got up, I blasted Tom Waits and kept on cleaning.

I feel more like myself than I have in years. I think the music helps. I haven’t listed to this album (Mule Variations) in years, and it’s one of my favorites. I hadn’t realized how much room the kids take up in so many ways, including expressing opinions on music, and they and my husband tend to control what we listen to .

Of course, I play the radio in the car, which is why my kids sing the line “Hey, sexy lady!” from “Gangnam Style” and know most of the words to “Hotline Bling” and “Exes and Ohs.” 

This week was school vacation week, and my kids were home. Home, home, home. I might remind you that I work from home. Home, home, home.

I had some childcare set up, mostly so I wouldn’t have to drag the kids to my first dry needling appointment, but she had to cancel due to a death in her boyfriend’s family (there have been a lot of deaths this past week, sadly). So I ended up bringing them to the appointment, with an iPad for one boy and my phone for the other, with instructions for them to set timers and trade devices after 20 minutes.

Yes, I would have loved it if they’d sat quietly reading books, or coloring or something, but I was going to be face-down with 25 needles in my butt and hip and really needed to know for sure that they’d stay occupied. And they were occupied. I could barely get them to look up when I said, “Hey kids, Mommy is a porcupine-butt! Look!” Wouldn’t you have looked up immediately?

They eventually did look, with expressions of awe, and I will pay for their therapy bills later, I promise.

I somehow met my deadlines, though Wednesday was a tense day, and Thursday morning, by prior arrangement, I delivered them to my mother (for what one of my brothers refers to as “Grandmother Camp”).

Until this week, I haven’t been without the children since…..since sometime last summer? For one night, maybe? And as I’ve been working from home since October, I have had so much time with them. We have no after school childcare for now, so it’s all me.

These past couple of days, though the house was oddly quiet, I have been very relaxed. Incredibly relaxed. I think I’m in a constant state of tension the rest of the time. And I was able to work until the unheard-of hour of 6 p.m., two days in a row, instead of having to wrap up at 2 p.m. as usual (I may have shocked my editor with how much I got done). I went out to dinner with a friend, spent an evening reading, watched a movie with my husband when we wanted to instead of having to wait for the kids to be asleep, and then enjoyed this morning’s peace.

We’re going to pick them up very soon, but this was a good reminder of what it feels like to be me.

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