Thursday was SS's last day of school, and it hit me unexpectedly hard. I blinked and missed first grade. I know that I should be grateful that I had so much time with my baby. That at least I got to volunteer last year in her classroom. I should be grateful that I was able to limp all over Legoland and shared SS's first big class school trip. SS's teacher made a video of the many milestones the kids experienced. The video is over and hour long and we have watched only half of it so far. I got teary eyed many times when I realized how much I missed.
There are many moms that are busy raising children as single moms, and they sure as hell do not get to be there for every milestone. Intellectually I realize that I have been luckier than most, that I have a husband who decided we would live in a two bedroom apartment for a few years, because the trade off was SS and Mama time. I know that I could have made much more than P did in his last job, but we lived frugally, the trade off being time with SS. And again back to one of my few smart decisions in my life. I chose right the second time around.
Then why am I b*tching in a public forum? Because I'm rather surprised at the battle between my heart and my brain. I am my bio mother's daughter, even Mami instilled in me that I had to get an education and not rely on a man to meet my, and my children's needs. I was going stir crazy as a stay at home mom. I missed working and feeling productive. Not that raising a child is not productive. But I was either wired this way, or had way too many working women (with husbands) around me growing up to develop a need to work outside the home. I don't regret a single second I spent with JJ and SS. But man I sure was not expecting that push me pull me thing that swirls around in my head.
I also married a man whose grandmother worked for Ma Bell, and had a set idea that wives work, his grandma, mother, and aunt M did (lady has a Ph.D. to boot). Yet he put all that aside and was really OK with working double shifts so I could devote myself to our daughter. It was cool but I know there is no way in hell I can do that again.
So yeah, watching SS's year made me sad. I already told P that I expect him to get his purple badge (red badge means one can only be around the kids with supervision, purple badge allows us to have the kids on our own) and we will both volunteer in SS's classroom. Jackie Kennedy said "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much." I read that quote at an early age, when children were not even a thought, I was just a child. But that quote has stayed with me, and I don't know why. For the record, I don't think I have done a remarkable job as a mother, maybe that is why that quote taunts me.
Apropos of my bad parenting choices let's get back to Thursday. Last week P and I went shopping for summer shoes for SS. Even though JJ is home SS will be at B&G Club three days a week. It's pricey but SS needs to socialize and we are OK with cutting back on other things so SS can have the opportunity to go to summer camp. It goes back to that choice I made in a parent for SS. P could easily say hell no, she stays home with JJ. Choices... We bought two pairs of shoes, because Kohls has expensive shoes but when they are on sale they have great prices. We got SS an orange pair and a blue pair with sharks. SS could not wait to wear her sharks shoes, because her Baba has taught her that sharks are cool and need our love. She asked every day to wear them to school, and I could not allow her. Why? Because her school has a strict policy that kids are to wear closed toe, closed back shoes and socks.
My husband the rule breaker thought I was being to damn prissy about the dress code. This is the same man who has insisted on SS wearing her Halloween costumes with a (gasp) mask, totally against school rules. He does not care and he makes no apologies for his rule breaking. I took the middle ground and told SS that I would allow her to break the rules on her last day of school. Unlike P I had a plan. What were they going to do? Suspend her? I told P that if he got a phone call from the school (he is now the main contact since it is easier for him to leave his work than me) to tell them I would bring a change of clothes and shoes at 2:00 p.m. School is out at 1:45 p.m.
SS was happy when I set out her clothes Thursday morning. Spaghetti strap tank top, check. Short shorts, check. Shoes with open back and no socks, check. We knowingly sent SS to school as a rebel, and did not feel an ounce of guilt. It wasn't until P pulled away from the house that I realized SS was wearing a pair of $26 shorts and what could go wrong as in staining them permanently. Oh well, we live we learn.
SS was so excited about her last day of school outfit.
Grandpa, you have spoiled our children forever. JJ and SS want to turn our tiny backyard into a Tiki paradise. They won't shut up about our last two trips to Maui, and although JJ is old enough to know better he acts as though it is his birth right. Their last brilliant idea was to get Tiki torches, and here is P indulging their delusions.
A weird thing about me is that I do not care for characters and gimmicks on kids shoes. When we bought SS's sandals I had no idea they were the light up kind. SS has never had light up shoes, and had I noticed that, I'm ashamed to say I would not have bought them. Why? I have no idea, but shoe gimmicks disgust me. SS is thrilled however, and thinks she has the best pair of shoes ever. Because her Mama was asleep on the job.