The girls and I were invited over to a friend’s tomorrow to watch the USA women play in the Olympic soccer final. I had a crowd over on Monday to watch the semi-final and felt whole again after two hours of hanging with adults, screaming, talking, experiencing the energy of persons over the age of thirteen. It meant a lot to me. Last night after soccer practice, I told Bun Bun where we were watching the game on Thursday and she quietly said (because everything she says is quiet), “I like staying home.” In full voice I told her she could stay home but I was going elsewhere. At this point, it feels like a matter of survival.
Certainly I’m not the only mother who neglects her own emotional needs during the summer, but I feel like I excel at this particular and peculiar situation more than I care to admit. In the past, at the very least, I had an hour or two at the end of the day to experience grown-up time, even if it just meant watching a show, knowing I wouldn’t be interrupted because, beautifully silent in their bedrooms, the girls were asleep. Well, now I live with vampires who stay up nearly to the very end of the NBC Olympic program for the night even though they often know the results. (I don’t. I look away from headlines on the internet as if they’re showing a bloody crime scene.) Waking early for some ‘me’ time is always a goal that gets slammed each morning like that poor diver from Germany. I’m generally up for seven minutes – just enough time to get the coffee started – before passive-aggressive questions like “What do we have for breakfast?” begin in earnest.
By telling you all this, I’m essentially admitting to being crazy if you believe the definition of whacked is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I had these exact feelings last summer and the summer before that. (Previous summers, the girls were younger, more pliable, and attending more camps.) I get to this point in August when I want to put the girls in the minivan and drop them off at school, no matter that classes don’t start for three weeks. The whole situation is neurotic. I need more adult time but don’t seek it out, as if I’m trapped in a warped case of Stockholm syndrome. These children are my captors; I’ve been convinced that eating cereal while watching “Dance Mom” is an excellent way to start the day. Pajamas until noon? As opposed to what?
Here’s how bad things are: the vacuum cleaner broke yesterday so I rushed out to Target to get a new one (fifteen minutes in the car by myself). I couldn’t wait to see how wonderful it worked (it did) and I’m looking for carpets to vacuum again today. It’s immediate gratification, it’s loud enough so I don’t hear anyone helpless asking me where their flip-flops are, and I’ve heard it burns calories. Pathetic. I am a sad, sorry soul.
More than anything, I miss writing. Despite my silence here at Daily Cup, I have much to say – Can we talk about the white supremacist with the criminal record who shot up a Sikh temple in Wisconsin with the gun he bought legally? – and soon, I’ll find more time to say it. For now, however, “Pretty Little Liars” is on and there’s ice cream in the freezer. Life is perfect.