Sometimes I get mad at them, and sometimes I can't help but laugh.
When you want them to perform, sometimes they just don't. On our trip to the GC they also argued, tattled, made a scene (or two), tried to jump along the rock pathway (Aedan), throw a mini fit (Audrey) and discuss what movies to watch upon our return home (Liam). Over and over and over.
One runs out into the street, one vomits in the car (same one, actually) and one says, after a full 2 minutes gazing over the majesty of the canyon, "Can we go home now?" After a 3 1/2 hour drive.
Aedan's teacher emailed a reminder yesterday about Aedan being star of the week next week as well as his book report due. She asked me, in all kindness, to let her know "if you want to move his star of the week to the following. I know it's a lot at once."
I read this and ruefully smiled, hands over my face, peeking through my fingers to read it again. Did it show? Was my over-extended, running around, slightly disorganized life that obvious during the five times I've talked to his teacher in person?
Since August 1, we have attended three family weddings: in LA, Seattle, and Joshua Tree. One bacheler/bachelorette party in Las Vegas. Two darling nephews born, one whom I went to visit. One staycation weekend for hubby's birthday. One action-packed trip to Disneyland, and, on the heels of that, one cooking of Thanksgiving dinner and a household of fun, happy people to host. Our business has had many fires brewing - all positive and amazing movements forward, but endeavors requiring lots of extra work, meetings, emailing, and organizing.
My laundry forms its own continent as we speak.
I am finding papers of homework assignments forgotten : Due November 17th, Liam's book log and reader response, whoops, totally empty on December 4th. I helped kids finish book projects by the skin of my teeth. My car window tint has had a section peeled off for I'm embarassed to say how long. I've missed appointments, messed up my iPhone calendar, tried to start this blog.
On Wednesdays, my morning off work, I cram appointments for myself in, or try to go for quick hikes. Last week I splurged for eyelash extensions through a friend of my hair dresser's; upon meeting me, she said warmly, "I've heard so much about you. Nicole says you're always late and it's ok, because you are crazy busy and are always in a hurry."
My reputation precedes me. And I ask: Is this a good thing?
One of my brothers famously told me once that Brendan and I handle stress better than anyone he's ever met. I took it as a compliment, of sorts, but thought about it for weeks. Just because I can handle stress, does thas mean that I should?
Ultimately, though, I need to realize a few things. Organization will never be my forte. I will always stay up too late, and will almost always take on more than I can chew. I will let my kids stay up and forgo homework sometimes, for a special occasion. It's not Harvard, just elementary school. I will always try to cram one more errand in when I have a list of things to do, and may have to chase Liam's bus home from work. My phone will probably die during the day when I left, in a rush, without a charger.
And I will never, as long as I'm able, ever miss an important event or turn down an opportunity to host my family. To squeeze in a hike with a friend, sub a yoga class when asked. One of the benefits of a large family (I have 8 siblings) is the chance to spread yourself thin to be there for everyone, to laugh with your siblings, to be part of special occasions that add richness to life.
I am slowly learning to say 'no' to things that don't matter, even though my initial reaction is almost always 'yes.' And when I feel anxious or too ragged, I'm trying to pause and take a break when I feel like I'm spinning too far out of the normal realm of a busy life. Take a breather in yoga, recharge with a book.
My kids may have it right, in their goofy reactions to saying "cheese" for a picture. It's only life, and I only have one, so I might as well make a scene. And look anywhere but at the camera.