Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I can see September...

Actually, the date that's getting me anxious in a negative way is August 28 and it's just around the corner, the beginning of the fall semester. I enjoy teaching, I do, but for some reason -- perhaps laziness, or a mild fear of being inadequate, or feeling "teaching law" is too high a goal -- I've got a nervous stomach about it. Butterflies in my tummy, as M would say.

We're leaving for the mountains, to the infamous cabin, this coming weekend. J's camp concert is at 4:30 on Friday afternoon and then we'll hit the road right after at 6:00. This will give us three full days at beautiful Mammoth Mountain before heading back down the hill on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to it - our last days of freedom. Then school will start for everyone. Back to a routine, back to homework, back to getting up early.

I'm tired, sleepy, cranky just thinking about the start of school.

I've noticed that depression has snuck back. Today, I did nothing really. Lay in bed until 9 or so, went back to bed at 10 or so, got into clothes near 11 only because my grandmother knocked at our front door. I also noticed D's and my funny balancing act. When I'm down, he pulls up. When he's down, I'm the one pulling up. We have a classic see-saw relationship. He's been really optomistic, energetic even, today while I sit at the computer like a lump. He's got the vacation list in his hand and is starting to pull things down, getting them ready for packing. I hit the news pages on the internet. He's offering hints and supportive comments for me, telling me the beauty of being a teacher. I hit the blogs. He's on the phone now, chatting with fellow teachers, prepping for cross-country coaching. I flip on the tv to the soaps while munching on a low-fat mozzarella stick.

Yesterday, I had plans on getting a pedicure - never managed to get to the shop. I went to pick up J from music camp and the moment he got into the car, he asked to go places, asked about his person, how does he look, he must look good because girls were talking to him all day. He was talking at a high pitch, loud, clearly a bit hyper, and immediately a headache began. We stopped at my sister's place for dinner and ate pizza. Took pills for the pain. By the time we hit home, after battling the 210 freeway's traffic and M's whiny nastiness from the back seat, I had a full-on migraine.

My grandmother stopped by just a little while ago - oh yes, I mentioned that already - on her way to a doctor's appointment. She had cataract surgery some weeks ago and the healing isn't going well so she holds tissue to her eye and pauses conversation because her eye hurts, her left eye. I fed her, like she was one of my children. My grandparents are at that stage. They need a little something extra these days, a little extra care, a small plate, a little food. Since I'd already made hot dogs for lunch (turkey, I gave Mama one, too. She wanted it cut with ketchup on the side, the way M likes it. I put a little pile of raspberries on the plate. Brought her a glass of milk. Sent D to the market for Tylenol for her, because she was in pain, her eye swelling slightly and weepy. My grandfather has even less of an appetite - he only wanted cookies and milk. I put cookies in a small bowl for him and he was happy. Slowly ate his way through the cookies. The two sat at the kitchen table watching and chatting with M and A who were stamping and coloring on paper and my grandmother got into the act, too. I made grilled cheese sandwiches for A and me.

I felt like such a mother - sandwiched in between sets of children. I was reminded of my own mother. How I'd grieved the reality that I'd never get to mother my mother, that I'd never be sandwiched. Not true. Here I am...peanut butter. Oh that's sounds dumb, doesn't it? Bad writing. Which reminds me that A discovered Sassy likes peanut butter. He's been giving it to her just to watch her repeatedly lick her lips. He laughs a belly laugh whenever he feeds it to her, never failing to comment to me how much she loves the peanut butter.

The mother of A's friend called me last night and I never called her back. She wanted us to take her son today - just for a while please - just a little while as she's not feeling so hot from her surgery and the thought was too much for me. So I sit here, knowing I flaked and feeling badly about it. I'll have to call her and apologize. Tell her we'll have him next week when we get back from Mammoth.

The kids want me to play with them and I just can't, don't want to. I'm going to grab a book and let myself get sleepy, sleepier than I am now, so I'll close my eyes to everything and pretend I have months and months of nothing to do but focus on the noise J makes and my sun tanned feet and Sassy scratching her neck and D marching around the house as he puts clothes away from the just-done laundry.

There are so many more clothes to wash in summer. How funny that is.


Lori said...

Well, I hope you guys have a good time on your trip. But I know how tired and awful you feel. Actually, no I don't. I only have one kid, you have three and a job about to start up again. But just trying to get through the day with this child of mine is like a friggin' Herculean task these days. I just have a constant headache.

Jean said...

Reading this, I was thinking about how hard it is to be a mother (not that I KNOW how hard), and then I started thinking how much harder it is in some ways to be a mother who is as sensitive and noticing as you, who picks up on the nuance and implications of every tiny detail, and reacts and reacts and reacts. I think it's wonderful to be sensitive to everything, it's being extra alive, present to the richness of everything. It's also, of course, not the least bit possible or desirable to be any different from who you are. It's also, oh god, really, really hard.

Adriana Bliss said...

(((Lori))) I know that headache. Well. Thank you for being a kismet sister.

Thank you, Jean. This is such a beautiful, touching comment. And yeah, it's so hard.