I dropped my youngest child off at preschool today for the first time. A lot of mixed emotions on my part, but not so much for him.
It went something like this, “Bye Mom.”
Heartless? Maybe, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He clearly got caught up in the excitement of the moment and didn’t fully understand the reality of the situation. The fact that he would soon be abandoned by his mother and left to fend for himself in a room full of complete strangers had escaped his tiny little mind. I can’t blame him for being ignorant. He’s just an innocent child.
Regardless, I was willing to give him a second chance, you know, to offer his mother a proper good-bye.
My goal was simple. Explain the seriousness of the situation and graciously offer my son an opportunity to re-write recent historical events. “This shit is going down on my terms!”
I walked up to him with confidence, fully prepared to set the record straight and thereby redeem some sort of self worth and maybe (hopefully) even take him home with me.
“Mom, you need to leave now.”
“Come again asshole?”
Did I want him to create a scene that involved him wailing uncontrollably as he clutched my leg for dear life while hysterically sobbing? Of course (i.e. probably) not. That said, he could’ve at least fake cried or something, like he did this morning when I didn’t give him chocolate chips for breakfast.
“Do you see these tears in my eyes Buddy? They are real, and they are for you. Mommy is sad and quite frankly more than a little bit offended by your nonchalant attitude right now. It’s rude.”
He didn’t hear me. He was too busy sucking up to the pretty teacher across the room who was quite obviously attempting to steal my son’s affection away from the very woman who gave birth to him and mistakenly signed him up for this ridiculous and non-refundable class.
Whatever. I know when I’m not wanted. I took what little was left of my pride, gave my son the tightest hug humanly possible (composed of 95% love, 3% annoyance/irritation, and 2% pure rage), and exited the building bewildered and completely confused by my lack of enthusiasm given the current situation.
I came home to an empty house for the first time in 9 years, 4 of which have been spent at home full-time with my children. “Today is a new beginning. Seize the day Jill!” Two days a week for 2.5 whole hours, I get “me time.” That’s 5 hours per week and 260 hours per year that I will be all alone.
What if I have a heart attack? No one will care and/or notify the authorities because no one else will be here. Just me and my thoughts (God help me!). I haven’t had a lucid thought for over 9 years. What if I actually start thinking real thoughts and the unused portion of my brain completely shuts down from shock and I have a stroke? Who will save me then?
Regardless, what the hell am I suppose to do now?
I guess I could watch TV, but I won’t because the guilt would be too much for me to handle.
I could do laundry, but that seems way too obvious.
I could work-out, but then I’d have to shower and that just seems like a waste of quality alone time.
I could call someone and have a real conversation in peace, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to give anyone the impression that I am bored in my quiet kid-free house (I am way more important than that, right?).
I could make a grocery list, or pack tomorrow’s lunch for the kids, or unload the dishwasher, but I function much better under stressful and extremely chaotic conditions, and it’s too fucking quiet in here.
I could make myself a real breakfast, but why would I purposely make a meal if I didn’t have to?
I could turn on some music and dance, but I have absolutely no rhythm unless I’m slightly and/or heavily under the influence.
Eureka! I could start drinking! But it’s 10:00 a.m. on a Tuesday and even I have standards (sigh).
I could call my mom, or write her a very heartfelt thank you note, and/or tell her that I am moving home because I’m sure she is still heartbroken that I selfishly left 20 years ago. “Why aren’t you answering your phone Mom?”
Maybe I could read a book? Or write one? Well, there’s a thought and one worthy of some real consideration, but how the hell am I suppose to concentrate with that god damn clock tic toc ticking across the room right now? “Seriously, why I have never noticed you before? Shut the fuck up!”
Maybe I should put the clock in the cupboard, or take the batteries out, or throw that arrogant piece of shit across the room in an effort to stop time completely?
It’s 5:00 somewhere.