This was the first week of our new arrangement, with Bill working full-time “outside the home” (I definitely think this phrase should become unisex!) and me working full-time and then some taking care of the boys. I had expected it to be disastrous, but as is so often the case with the disasters I expect, it wasn’t. I would love to have come to the end of this day with some brain cells left for a beautiful essay about how I feel, but unsurprisingly, I did not. (I feel great, by the way.) At the least, though, I would like to record some of the things that happened over the week, as a way of holding onto them.
- Baked 2 loaves of oatmeal bread and 6 dozen muffins, made applesauce.
- Did a spitload of errands with a baby in a busted stroller without losing my temper.
- Did not freak out when the high chair broke with the baby in it.
- Got both boys to bed on my own, while Bill took an important workshop for his new job.
- Completed my volunteer project’s monthly activity.
- Made yogurt.
- Took the kids to an awesome art exhibit my friend had organized and curated.
- Picked up a book another friend was saving for me.
- Returned library books.
- Freaked out about JCDS and my feeling of pessimism that it could work out, even based on the financial aid package they offered us.
- Had a long conversation with my mother-in-law about the kindergarten question. Felt better afterward.
- Made an appointment to talk to the principal at the local school and arranged for child care.
- Thanked G-d for my wonderful friends at synagogue who are falling all over themselves to spend time with Gideon when I need to do stuff I can’t include him in.
- Picked up a freecycle.
- Started the book my friend loaned me Tuesday.
- Received a delicious lasagna from a friend whose kid goes to school with Akiva, and for whom I’d done a favor.
- Met with local school principal, who made a good impression. Felt better.
- Talked to financial officer at JCDS about the appeals process. Felt better still.
- Made challah for my friend’s art auction and delivered it.
- Made applesauce. Again.
- Took both boys to music class and struggled but managed (mostly) to keep them reined in. Hoped the rest of the class and the teacher saw it that way too.
- Served the aforementioned lasagna to two appreciative children, who ended up with really red faces.
- Attended the art auction, had a great time, and didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty that I was out without the others, nor even the cell phone.
- Got both boys to nap at the same time, and gave each some of my undivided attention. Felt like a million bucks when, after I got Gideon down and told Akiva it was his turn to have all my attention, he said, “Yay!” and gave me a big hug.
- Made double batch of challah. Delivered one to the friend who watched Gideon on Thursday.
- Sent my letter of appeal to the finance guy at JCDS, and fielded a very nice call from him in which he acknowledged receipt of that message and laid out his goal of having everything resolved before Passover.
- Made appointment to observe the kindergarten classes at the local school. Arranged child care. (See above; synagogue friends falling all over themselves.)
- Celebrated with Bill, who made his first sale and fielded what looks like a legitimate inquiry on a second transaction.
- Took the kids to the park and home peacefully. Heated up the dinner (Bill prepped a heavenly beef stew last night) and set a beautiful shabbat table on time. (Well, beautiful except for the grape juice I spilled all over the siddur. Akiva came in from outside, saw it and said, “Oy.”)
- Went with my family to the music service at our synagogue.
- Rejoiced at Akiva’s clever and sweet suggestion that in addition to doing Eshet chayil and the one that follows it (both of which we extemporize) on Friday nights, we should take the time to tell our children what we appreciate in them. Did so right away and agreed to add it in the future.
We never expected to be in this kind of position, but this week has offered us an incredible gift, in fact several: We felt the support and help of our community, we provided the same support and help for each other, and we learned we could do things we didn’t think we were capable of.