Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Ooooh, judge me.
So last week was the first week of school for the daughters. Amanda strode confidently into seventh grade, Emilee walked bravely into sixth grade and Triniti went begrudgingly into second grade. With the exception of some minor inconveniences like sleeping in or actually knowing the location of your shoes before the sun comes up, it's a smooth transition. The first week always is since the first day of school is not unlike Christmas to a kid. They can't sleep since the butterflies are doing acrobatics in their bellies so instead they think about their new backpacks and shoes and the people that they haven't seen all summer. As a parent, we get ONE DAY a year where we can go into our children's rooms and say, "It's time for SCHOOL!" and they will practically pop out of their beds and be ready forty-five minutes before it's time to leave. But only the one day, the rest of the year you have to go into their rooms ten times every morning to poke and prod and eventually threaten them before they will drag themselves out of bed.
Last week was also the first week of my new schedule which is why you didn't see hide nor hair of me here. Last week my hours changed from 7-5 to 7-3:30. No big deal right? I mean, I thought for sure that shaving an hour and a half off of my work schedule wasn't a big deal. Except that last week was Month End for us, it was the first Month End with the new Other Manager and we delivered ten houses last month, five of which didn't go out until last week. Last week was a fucking marathon of work.
Additionally, last week was Amanda's first week of Athletics as she joined the volleyball team at school. This meant that every day last week Amanda was required to stay after school. Her last class, which is athletics, began at 2:20 and went straight through the end of school and lasted until 5:30. That's three hours a day people. My little girl was freaking exhausted. But I did what I am supposed to do and called the other volleyball moms and set up a carpool schedule and made sure Amanda had plenty to eat when she got home and put her to bed early and hugged her when she said she couldn't move any more and made sure her water bottle was full every morning before she left.
Thursday, it got crazy.
School ends at 3:30. I get off of work at 3:30. And on Thursday, I was trying VERY hard to get out of work on time but I was holding back this avalanche called Work I Haven't Finished Yet and answering some last minute questions to Other Manager when a call came in on my work line. It was Amanda and she said, quicker than any twelve year old has ever said anything before, "Mom, I'm coming home, I left all of my stuff there, I can't find Emilee, I'm on the bus."
"I asked the bus driver to stop and get her at the library and he said ok."
See, as Amanda was staying after school, Emilee was walking two blocks to the public library to read and do her homework rather than ride the bus for over an hour to get home.
Amanda hung up and I didn't even have a full two seconds to take in what she'd just said and I had just thought I should call the library and tell Emilee to get outside and catch the bus while simultaneously thinking it wasn't that big of a deal since the carpool would pick Em up at 5:30 anyway even if Amanda wasn't there when my boss ran in with my cell phone. "Your phone is blowing up, as the kids would say."
I answer and two things happen; my battery dings signaling that it is dead and Emilee says "hey Mom" cheerfully.
Knowing I have mere seconds to tell Emilee to get outside, I say, "Em, go get on the bus. Now. Hurry." She, being the awesome daughter she is says OK and hangs up. No questions, nothing. That is one of the coolest things about Emo.
I hang up and Amanda calls me back on my work line & I tell her two things; one-Emilee is coming, hold the bus and two-you are in big trouble when I get home. She says she knows, she loves me and bye.
Just typing that stressed me out again.
Fast forward an hour and a half and Amanda and Emilee walk through the front door. Emilee is clearly pissed because she had a report she was working on and now she doesn't get the library time she wanted so she stomps off to her room and closes the door. Amanda walks in behind her in her athletics uniform. She is sweaty, her hair is a messy pony tail and she looks more defeated than I've ever seen her before. She goes straight to the kitchen and proceeds to drink about two quarts of water before sitting down to tell me what happened.
She starts by apologizing which I tell her isn't necessary, she just freaked me out. She then says, "Mom, I am changing my schedule tomorrow. I'm dropping athletics and switching back to PE." She goes on to tell me the story about how she basically willed herself to make it from 2:20 to 3:30 when school ended and then she went and told her coach that she couldn't stay for practice. Knowing that Emilee would be leaving to go to the library and she needed to try and find her and contact me, "Mom, even though my legs hurt so bad and I was wobbly and SO TIRED, I MADE MYSELF run from the gym all the way to the bus area so I could borrow a phone to call you." She had abandoned all of her belongings in the locker room since she knew she wouldn't have time to go to the library AND contact me, she had to sacrifice her cell phone.
She and I talked about her choice to drop athletics for about two hours on Thursday afternoon and a little part of me thought it may be my responsibility to make her stay in but I quickly squashed that thought because of a couple of things. One is that this is her choice. Middle School and High School are supposed to be the times that your children find their interests and follow them. How is my forcing her to be in athletics going to help her? I am catching a lot of shit about this from the I Used To Play Football guys in my life. But you know what? It's her choice. Which is the second reason I let her drop it, she didn't ask me. She had already made up her mind about it. She didn't ask my permission, she made the choice herself and she handled the changes herself. I was proud of her for doing that, for making the choice and then marching into the office Friday morning on her own and changing her schedule. That is exactly the kind of thing I want my kids to be capable of: being responsible for making their own decisions.
Yeah, so a lot of people think I shouldn't let her drop it and that's fine, they are entitled to their opinions. But simply seeing her on Friday when she got home from school and seeing that the frazzled look she had all week was gone and replaced by a happy, well rested look made my day. She immediately scheduled additional band practice after school to replace the athletics practices and all is well. And oddly enough, something that would have made most parents disappointed in their daughter made me proud of mine. I'm glad she knows her limits and is willing to step up and deal with handling her affairs after discussing it with me. She's becoming a grownup. It's so weird.

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so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 5:04 AM
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