Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Turning Tables

I have written many times about our annual Seaside trip, I wrote about family camp, I even wrote about our trip to Spokane. What do all of these have in common?  They were trips I took the boys on and left Brandon home alone.  If you know me, then you also may have heard my slightly snide comments regarding how Brandon felt about these trips. This is the part of the blog where you can roll your eyes and decide I am a terrible person, it's okay.  You see, every time I left, Brandon would be sad. From the first trip when Jack was 8 weeks old, to family camp this summer, when Jack was now 8 years old, he hates when we leave.  I used to say to him, and probably my friends, MOST guys are happy when their wives leave and take all the kids with them.  I didn't understand why he had such a hard time with it.

Brandon has slowly begun to come along with us on our trips.  Seaside, is no longer a sister's weekend, more like a Sister-Wives weekend.  I did ask Brandon to come when Finn was born because I did not feel that I could keep all 3 boys safe at the ocean for the weekend. Considering I lost Jack one year, that was probably a very wise parenting decision.  Family Camp is now truly "family camp" as Brandon joins us for the weekend (that is another blog post).  There are no trips that I now take with just the boys, and part of me is sad for that.  Slight tangent: being a mom of 3 boys, I feel a strong need to do things with just the boys and myself.  Camping in the woods with just mom? I think that is a pretty cool adventure and a memory the boys will always have with them.  

So, when Brandon told me he wanted to take the boys camping, my first reaction was: no way.  Selfishly, I didn't want hm to have his own special trip when I didn't get to have one.  Also, I have a terrible fear of being home alone. Immature, probably, but still as soon it is dark, I am locked in the bathroom crying.  I blame it on the movie, Are You In the House Alone? Don't watch a scary movie with older boy cousins around. They will scare the bejezus out of you and forever cause you to be in therapy.

I handled the weekend away as I handle most things that scare me. I pretend it's not happening. Even up to the minute they were leaving, I was cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming. Packing, nope. Food shopping, not my job. I had no idea what clothes they were taking, what they were going to eat, or how Brandon planned to handle the weekend.  Even avoiding the issue, 4:00 still came, and the boys all climbed into the car.  

And that is when I started to cry. I tried to not cry in front of the boys, but it took Brandon a heck of time to finally get in the car to leave. By that time Jack said, "Mom, you have tears in your eyes." and then "Mom, I do too".  I give them the best smile I could, made a funny joke about having to take care of the dogs, and went inside.  And cried some more.  

Because now I know why Brandon hates it.  I did enjoy having time to myself at home, but I missed the boys so much.  I hated going to bed alone at night and having no one there to keep me warm. (Not to be mistaken with how much I love my weekend away, that is something I still love). But being home, without my family, was sad.

When I stopped crying, I went upstairs to get the coffee Brandon had made for me, and saw this:

And then I smiled.

Full Disclosure: I did not stay home alone, because I am that much of a wuss, my 16 year old niece stayed with me to keep me safe.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Another First

This week marked Finn's last first day of preschool. Next year he may or may not go to kindergarten, that has yet to be decided, but this will be our last year at this school.  Jack started here when he was 2 years old, for the past 6 years I have driven down the same road, walked up the same stairs to drop off one and sometimes even two boys.  This was my first step away from all kids all the time.  These teachers were the first to know that a little Finn was on his way. They were the ones to let me know that my Jack was more special then I even knew. This is where I made some of my best mom friends. Where I finally accepted that I was a stay-at-home mom and joined an organized mom's group.  This place has been my life for the last 6 years.

This summer we spent quite a bit of time looking at preschools closer to home, making pros and cons lists, trying to convince Finn he would love to go to a new school.  In the end, we chose to stay where we were. Long drive, short hours and all. This is where we felt we needed to be.  And when Finn came down the stairs after his first day of school and whispered into my ear, "I loved it". I knew we made the right choice.  This little boy gets one more year, to be in the big Pre-K, just like his brothers, to be with his very best friend, and to be mine for just a little while longer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

First Day

The first day of school has come and gone. In some ways I am still in denial that summer is over, although our current weather is definitely fall/winter like.  This is the first year we are not starting a new school. We are finally in the 'returning' family group, and I couldn't be happier. It was so nice to go in and see familiar faces, say hi, and even give hugs. Okay, that last part wasn't my favorite but I persevered and gave several rather awkward hugs.  

The day to find out our teachers arrived and I think I was more nervous then the boys. I knew in my mind who would be perfect teachers for the boys and I hoped the higher ups at the school had realized that also.  Micah got Jack's teacher from last year, who I love, and knows all about my terrible crying at parent-teacher conferences behavior, so that is a plus.  Jack got the teacher I was 100% convinced we would not get.  Seriously, when Brandon saw Jack's name outside the room he looked at me and said, "this is it".  Wait, what?!  It took me a second and I was still a little in shock as we walked into Jack's room, but by the 3rd day of school, I am convinced this was the best choice for Jack.  He was up before 7AM on Thursday ready for school because he had such a good first day.  Now, that didn't happen today, but that's okay. He was still dressed and in the car on time.

The actual first day of school was a blur. I couldn't believe how fast the time went. I had a long list of things to do. Make a special dinner of the boys choosing, CHECK. Burn dinner while wasting time on FaceBook, check.  Make healthy chocolate chip cookies, CHECK. Burn the granola I had to make to add to the cookies, check. Taste cookies and immediately spit them out, CHECK.  Rush to get boys so I would be in the correct carpool lane of them to find me, CHECK.  Pick up happy boys who loved their first days, CHECK, CHECK, CHECK.

The boys had great first days, they loved seeing friends, and getting to know their new teachers. Finn and I are settling into life just the 2 of us again.  Which means watching TV and reading blogs, and buying treats at Starbucks.

All in all the transition to back to school went well. Up next, Finn returns to preschool!