August 2014


Yesterday was a day to get ready. Vacation ended Sunday. My kids and I returned Sunday afternoon and evening, back from a Hingham wedding for me, following two weeks wandering New England, from Dad’s for my boy, after hiking in New Hampshire, two days on the Cape earlier in the week, Ashfield the week before that, from a week of Maine camping, preceded by a week in Ashfield, before that a week at summer camp for my gal. Sunday evening I made a nice dinner, and that was about it..Can’t even remember what else I might have done. My suitcase is still in the tv room downstairs, unopened.

Yesterday the day care reopened after two weeks of vacation. Anne began her work with us. The day care kids came back, some older ones here just for a day or week. Everyone seemed happy to be back, save the youngest one at first, but even she adjusted. From start to finish yesterday I was doing transition tasks, updating files, schedules, contracts, sorting out tuition, policies, bills, making sure Anne knew the lay of the land, while she and Liana were the teachers with the kids. My boy was off to work, his older brother started classes at college, my gal and I made it as far as the bank up the street before turning back on our errand mission, due to heat and exhaustion and ennui.

Near bedtime, I realized my boy, nineteen, starting his junior year, had moved his own stuff from summer sublet to college dorm apartment, had started classes and semester without a bit of help from me or his dad, not even a call or text from me. Made me feel sort of lousy on one hand, that I hadn’t been more helpful. Also made me realize how far a kid can come in two years, from living at home and having his mom help him organize his stuff and drive him to college, full of angst, to doing it on his own, without a word.

Today my gal is off to babysit across town. She’ll babysit closer to home the two days after that. My son will be off to work in Framingham, at school, where he’s worked most days this summer when he hasn’t been away. I’ll be back to work downstairs with children and Liana, still getting ready for fall, also enjoying the last days of summer. 

The heat caught me off guard yesterday. Over vacation we had an electrician here, updating and installing outlets, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing broken fixtures, redoing the kitchen lighting. He removed a ceiling fan in the kitchen that was heavy when I took it to the curb on my brother’s advice, so the metal collectors could have it next. They carefully removed the fan blades from the motor, laid them in a pile on the curb. I picked up the fan blades and brought them to the day care, to be bases for wood sculptures down the road. Last night I made dinner in the hot kitchen, broiler on for tofu balls, stove cranking for pots of pasta, sauce, and broccoli. By the time my daughter was working on the dishes after the dinner we ate on the porch, she was bemoaning our long lost friend, the ceiling fan. It was ugly, we both agreed. We’re hotter now, and a little bit of regret set in. Out with the old, in with the new, always a challenge.

Time to rise and shine and shower and wake the kids. Feels almost like school is starting, but for my kids this week it’s work, not school. Next week the day care shifts to our school year schedule. The following week my own kids return to school. That week I’ll be in Spain. Hard decision for me, that trip. Not yet used to so much traveling without my kids, or to not being around this time of year. Still a mom and a teacher, and most of those will be close to home and school this month.

Haven’t written in awhile. Needed to get back in the swing. Not flowing out of me as it did for a long while. This fall will be the sixth anniversary of this blog, started when I thought I’d be starting a small school, before the Charter School attempts, before my year at SVS, before divorce, before my oldest went to college, before my youngest two went off to SVS. A lot has changed in six years. A whole lot. Funny thing is I’m just starting to find a new normal. As different as things are, they’re beginning to feel right again, day care and family holding together just fine after lots of changes, kids and I all doing well, new guy a fine fit, if far away in Western Mass sometimes, house not tumbling down, bank accounts holding up, Ashfield place still shared, travel and new clothes and dinners out and house projects not eliminated from our lives, though all done with greater care on a budget held up more by one than two. Out with the old, in with the new, keeping some parts for the next project, letting others go.

Tonight the house is quiet. The sun shines in the windows as it does this time of night. Later tonight my daughter will be home from a week away at camp. At some point this evening my son will return from a week at his dad’s. Tomorrow, if all goes well, my oldest one will be here for a quick visit, home for a weekend to see friends heading off to college, and us.

All this week I’ve been here on my own, since Richard left before work on Tuesday. There hasn’t been much quiet, work and work and work, sleep and sleep and sleep. I’ve filled a last minute vacancy left by a family moving to DC, helped the new hire finish more bureaucratic nonsense so she can start working after our vacation, applied for life insurance to take over where a soon to be discontinued policy leaves off. Somehow that’s filled the hours between waking up and going to sleep, four days running. Now I’m tired.

All week long we said hello and good-bye in spades, interviewing and visiting with prospective families, saying good-bye to families leaving for new homes, and our summer sub leaving for vacation and for college. Somehow in the midst of it, my own hellos and good-byes have barely been triggered.

Each morning for the last eight days, minus today, I’ve written “morning pages” in a red bound journal, an assignment named by the author of a book called The Artist’s way. This hasn’t left much time for writing on this blog. That’s ok. For a long while now I’ve wondered if I could write a journal. Morning pages aren’t that. They are for me and no one else, and in that way they are what I wanted the journal to be. It takes energy to make that a priority. Today I didn’t have it. Wrote my daughter, wrote prospective families, wrote some friends, nothing left for me. The good news is the morning pages feel darn good, and maybe over vacation I’ll write more.

For two weeks I’ll be on vacation, time at home this weekend with my kids, all three, first time here since June, time in Western Mass this week, with kids and housemates there and Richard. Then home again next weekend, with my gal, and when she is off camping with her friends, and her brothers are off on their ways, I’ll be with Richard in Little Compton, playing at the beach, then that weekend in Hingham for a wedding with his friends and kids.

Tonight he’s cooking for a crowd, salad from farm stands and markets, pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil, dessert of peach cloufouti. He tells me about the menu and the ingredients over the phone last night, in an e-mail this morning, tonight while he’s making salad, and I am jealous of the food, of the company, of time in his kitchen and his home. At the same time, I’m tired from a long and busy week, also eager for time with my kids in my home. There isn’t a way around it just now. Moving won’t solve it for me or for him. Not now, not for awhile.

Half the day care families have or are moving this year, to new apartments, new houses, new towns, new states and regions of the country. As Jen said while we were celebrating the movers, everyone’s moving but us. She must have seen that brought emotion, because after that she said sorry. It’s loaded, the idea of moving, never mind the act.

So, for tonight I’m staying put. Here on the red couch in the living room sun is good. Tomorrow I’ll go to the store. Later tonight I’ll retrieve my gal from her ride landing her across town. Sunday we’ll go to Ashfield, then home again, the beach vacation, then wedding, then back for a week of summer day care, then on to fall, day care reopens with new schedules for kids, my own kids start the week after that, when I might be in Spain if my luck doesn’t run out. Another adventure I’m keeping on the down low until I’m in the all clear. More on that if I get the clearance and the nerve.

For now I’m writing nonsense just to be writing. It’s been awhile and I haven’t known what to say or when to say it. It’s like that some times, living through the slow and busy spots without a lot of time to write it out. Maybe now I’m on the other side things will begin to flow. We shall see, as my mother used to say, or so I think I might remember. We shall see.