My oldest has school vacation week this week; my younger two had theirs last week. My oldest goes to a school out of state (which is why he has a different vacation week), just over the line so it’s only a half an hour drive.
This daily drive, to and from, sometimes more than twice if a sport or activity is scheduled sometime or somewhere other than right after or right at school, has been about enough to put me over the edge some days. It is not easy trying to figure out how to keep doing everything that you need (or might want) to do on a regular basis with two or three fewer hours in the day. Obviously I can’t do everything.
What do I give up? Some days it’s sleep, some days writing, some days exercise, and most days time spent with my other two in the morning unless my husband drives Oldest to school. Our family breakfasts rarely happen anymore. Good thing our kitchen table is the nucleus of our house so we all spend significant time there whether we’re eating or not. (I am using it as my office this week since it’s only 50-something degrees in my real office.)
So far this week I have (mostly) enjoyed the extra time with my younger two in the morning and after school. My middle son, though he does come home from school and go in his room and close the door (as one of my good friends predicted when the older two were toddlers and I was lamenting the fact that I never had any privacy and she suggested I enjoy it now because one day…), has been a good deal more social than usual. (I wonder if that is because he spent last week with his dad and he missed us?) It also seems that the dynamic has changed enough with him being the oldest kid in the house that he is more responsible. I saw him swallow his complaint when I asked him to unload the dishwasher. I caught him emptying the trash yesterday (I had not asked him to do that.) I left a chocolate on his pillow when I noticed how neatly he had made his bed.
I’ve walked on the treadmill every day, too, and I’m writing (obviously).
Still, I miss the routine I’d established with my oldest. I’m not listening to the podcasts I usually do on the way home after dropping him off, and sometimes when we’re together if we’re not talking about his vocabulary words or civics class. Yesterday I didn’t leave the house at all; neither of the younger two had sports or any activities. Cat misses Oldest, too. She came prowling around the upstairs last night. (She usually sleeps with Oldest in his downstairs bedroom.) I am not sure how much Oldest’s brothers miss him (or would admit to missing him anyway): sometimes three is a crowd.
Middle son told me his friends reported that Oldest had been on Xbox Live all afternoon. We don’t have Xbox live and if we did, we wouldn’t have the kind of games that Oldest was playing with Middle’s friends (because I am not fun or cool). This is only good to know only because Oldest hasn’t answered either of my texts, so at least I know he’s alive. I typically don’t “interrupt” my kids when they’re with Dad but I know Dad doesn’t have the week off so it’s likely Oldest is just hanging around by himself much of the time.
I wonder if he’d appreciate it if I called him at 6:45 a.m. so we could talk about vocabulary words or current events?