Monday, May 11, 2009
I am heading out of town soon for 5 days for work. This is the longest I’ve been away from home and its contents (Jo, Grace and Edie). If everyday of your life has been ritualized to the most mundane detail, this kind of trip is a pretty big deal. I joke about the getaway, 4 nights in a nice hotel, meals made for me, trips to the gym, a t.v. to myself but when it comes right down to it I’m freaking out a little because home is what I strive for from the moment I wake up everyday. I eagerly anticipate hopping off the loser cruiser (OC Transpo yo) and getting the car to pick up the kids.
First up is Grace. I hold back a little before I let her see me. She is always engaged in some intense activity with a friend or two. It usually involves tunneling to China or creating highly important, HIGHLY secretive codes for some vital work they are involved in. When she spots me though she usually comes running and spills her news of the day for a few minutes and then gazes out the car window, deep in thought all the way to Edie’s day care. When we collect Edie she is almost always surrounded by friends, with her shoes on the wrong feet, a smudge of dirt on her face and a ponytail gone bad. As soon as she spots Grace she lights up, abandons the game she’s been in and jumps in my arms. The car ride home is the one unpredictable part of the routine – they either fight the whole time or Grace reads to Edie all the way home. I never know how it’s going to go.
Once home, Grace tackles homework, as does Edie (yes, in her world colouring constitutes academia), while I try to create a meal for dinner, all the while berating myself for not throwing something in the slow cooker the night before.
I love the chaos of our dinner table (just because I’m on the verge of yelling doesn’t mean I don’t love it). Jo and I try to eek out a sentence or two to each other while coaxing kids to eat and being an audience to their stories.
I love the walks after dinner. The walks aren’t exactly vigorous, as Edie gets equally excited for any bird/worm/bug sighting, and has a small soliloquy for each event; and Grace, never one to run a straight line, insists on making an obstacle course out of everything to add a challenge.
Bedtime shenanigans I don’t love so much, but when we get to book time, the feeling of their spirited little bodies slowly, slowly starting relax, also help to relax me. And finally, the best part, the love fest of goodnight, with a million I love you’s and passionate hugs.
So yeah, five days without this kind of routine in my life is going to be strange. But, to counter the separation anxiety I’m bound to feel is the fact that I’m staying in the city where my best friend in whole wide world who loves Pee Wee Herman as much I do lives. This makes me a little giddy.