Suddenly, it's spring break and S is home for 19 days. We've only hit day three, and life is already unrecognizable (or, rather, I remember a life like this but had blocked it out). A Hansel and Gretel trail of socks, gum wrappers, pencils, Vanity Fair, and US Weekly leads the way from the living room floor, where her suitcases have inexplicably taken up residence, down to her room on the opposite end of the house. Dishes are in the sink. Demands hang in the air like cartoon speech bubbles: Can you pick me and A up and drive us to Weston? Can you drop me off downtown? While you're out, can you buy ice cream? And, I could use some iced tea and lemonade....
We're always going somewhere – the movies, the mall (to buy things I forgot existed like a Yankee Candle air freshener), an afternoon road trip to Rhode Island just for fun, using up gas and miles and bickers and laughs like there's an endless supply. This week when I should be unpacking my new office, writing Latin tests, planning events, raising money, I'll be running to the orthodontist to finally get those braces off, or out on a college tour (clue to other junior parents, tours and information sessions on the weekends in March are practically non-existent), or coming home in the middle of the afternoon for some face-time with my kid between my morning and evening work obligations. It's discombobulating and exhausting.
As I write this, I can hear everyone's voices – tell her to take the T, or to get things for herself, or to pick up her crap. Good plan, I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, instead of mothering from afar like I've grown used to, I'll do it right under my nose and in my room and in the kitchen and in the car. Who knows, maybe it'll be kind of fun.