Before I get into today’s topic, let’s start with a small aside. The other day I was riding in the car with my youngest, and the song “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith came on the radio. I was singing along and she asked about it and I started to tell her about the movie Armageddon and then I had to stop because I was very, very close to bursting into tears. Over Bruce Willis dying in a cheesy action movie recalled over an AEROSMITH SONG.
I am thinking it is possibly time to turn this blog into a Journey Through Perimenopause because of this story. I don’t really want to explore this issue any more than you do, I’m sure, but at the same time I was thinking about how many of the blogs I read when the kids were little were written by fellow young moms, and sharing our mutual horrors and joys at raising kids created amazing bonds but also helped you feel like you were not alone and that everything was going to be okay.
So from time to time, I may share stories of my progress towards becoming a Woman Of A Certain Age, which apparently, involves weeping over Aerosmith songs on your car.
I feel like these years will be just one long apology to my family. Sorry about this, guys.
We are into summer vacation and so far I have spent it driving. Both of my oldest are in summer school for July, in two different locations, and so every day is drop off, run home, serve lunch, drop off, run home, try to work for two hours, then pickup, pickup. It’s been bananas and next week the third one is going to a week long day camp at a THIRD location and I am going to have to clone myself to survive.
Until then, though, I have my two extroverts – the girls – home every morning, and then one extrovert – the youngest – home alone each afternoon. I am the most introverted of introverts, and I feel like that is potentially becoming a problem as I age. This summer especially, I feel like the girls are suffering, especially the youngest, by the fact that I have booked too much work for the summer, but also, prefer quiet around the house in general.
Here’s how they would prefer to spend their summer: friends over every day, or going to a friend’s house, or maybe having several friends over for a bit of a party/hang out, or else meeting a group of friends at the park, or talking on facetime with several friends at once, and then going for a pool party with friends every evening.
Here’s how I would prefer them to spend their summer: sitting quietly in a corner reading, with occasional requests to go the library for more books.
I could easily spend the summer with the Captain, who is as introverted as I am. When it’s just the two of us at home, you won’t hear a peep. We will occasionally check in with the other one to see how they are doing, and sometimes if we are keen to do something social we will watch a TV show together, before retreating to our respective corners.
But the girls are always at my elbow, asking if people can come over, or if they can go somewhere. And I know it would be SO GOOD for them, that’s what they need, that’s what will make this summer awesome. But I am busy and I am tired and the thought of negotiating playdates and arranging more pickups and drop offs, or else dealing with more noise and activity in my house, is just ugh, you know?
I feel like, when the girls grow up, this will be one of those things that they were denied as children. Like, I was never allowed to have long hair as a kid, so my daughters (and also, my son) all have long hair and can have it as long as they want. They may also have all the gum they want, something that was banned at my house.
When they grow up, they’ll probably tell their kids they were never allowed to have people over (never being a HUGE EXAGGERATION, but compared to how often they would LIKE to have people over, I’m sure it feels like never) and then let them have all the friends over they want.
Of course, they will probably birth introverts and all their kids will want to do is spend the day at Grandma’s, reading quietly in the corner, with occasional trips to the library.
Anyway, until then, I am trying to do better, to be a better Mom To Extroverts. I am trying to say Yes more often, when they want someone over or want to go out. I am trying to do all I can to make playdates happen and to support their social lives. It’s a hard thing, to say yes when you really want to say no. But I feel like that’s going to become norm as they pass into the teen years – when they were toddlers, it was all about saying no when you wanted to say yes, but now it’s about saying yes when you really want to say no, for so many things.
Parenthood – it’s weird, right?