23 March 2012


The days are getting longer.  Not in the traditional "oh my goddess, parenting is so hard, the days are so long" way, but in a "hey look, we still have time to do all this" kind of way.  It is like Ostara (the vernal equinox, Easter before Jesus was cool) came and suddenly we have our lives back.

The sun is up when the kids call that "the clock is green" and that same sun is still shining as we work through the seemingly endless process of bath to PJs to stories to bed, please, for the love of all that is holy, to bed.  The work is not any easier, but it feels less...panicked.  Less like I am up against the wall of responsibilities with no out except the sacrifice of my sanity.

Somehow when there is still daylight at 7pm I do not feel that constant pressure to get it all done. When it is dark at 5pm, 8pm feels like midnight and I spend the entire day is a flat out rush.  The feeling of intense urgency pervades everything.  Psychologically I am racing the daylight and always losing.  The winters are long, and even with one as mild as we just had, we can't get outside enough.  We can't get enough activity in our days.  We are tired and listless yet, not at all sleepy.  No matter how hard I try I can't get the kids out the door to have fun while also keeping the house going.  The challenges of the daily minutia overtake me and well, it is dark times both literally and figuratively.

Now, it is sunny and the days allow me all the hours I need.  After dinner, when I would usually say "get to bed" I instead say "get outside, that slide isn't going to climb itself."  Somehow everything gets done, and even though it is the same to-do list, and technically the same number of hours, it all just happens.  Effortlessly.  I know that light is a wave and a particle, being one of those mysteries of modern science, so it seems only logical that adding sunlight can make time change its behavior too.   As soon as it is sunny you can spend hours at the playground, enjoy a leisurely lunch on the deck and still make it to school on time.  A month ago we would have barely finished arguing about library books while lunch was being hastily created so we could rush, yelling and bickering out the door to the shuffle of drop-off line.  The only real change?  The sun.  Add sunlight and now time is a wave too.  The kind of liquid ocean wave that bends to accommodate whatever it finds. 

Of course my kids have matured a bit.  At 2.5 and 5 they are suddenly much more like people and less like Jack Russell Terriers on meth.  I am on the verge of parenting "school-age children" not "toddlers."  As the days of diapers and sippy cups trail behind me, I can see that soon, we will be able to behave like a family, not like two harried care-givers of two frantic balls of panic.  All I know is that after dinner I sit on the deck with my book and the kids play.  Alone or together.  In the sandbox or on the swing-set.  They retrieve their own toys from the woods and climb the rock wall without my help.  We then take a bubble bath and head to bed, tired and relaxed instead of wound-up and fighting. 

Not sure just how this happened. Spring has sprung and we are functioning humans once more.  It is like magic. It is surely magical.


Sarah said...

I enjoyed your analogy of the jack russel terrier's on meth. Spot on!