January 20, 2013

Wanted: more fun.

It is hard to believe January is almost over. So far 2013 has been a bit rough around the edges.

We rang in the new year in our p.j.s on the couch, not even feeling festive enough to watch the ball drop on t.v. I came down with a nasty cold and went to bed after sharing one glass of Prosecco with my husband and two friends who stopped by. It was about as uneventful as a New Year's Eve could be, bringing to mind the last couple of them since having a child, equally calm and starting to look like a trend. It's not like I long for the days of partying in bars (well, I wouldn't mind going back to the times I spent December 31st in a ski resort ) but, in general, life has become more staid and less fun. Thus, I am making a commitment to myself and to my family this year to have more FUN.

That being said, we are not off to a good start. The week before Christmas the Parents Day Out program where we had been sending June two days a week for the last year and a half simply imploded. Our beloved teacher got fired under murky circumstances and what had been a lack of confidence in the school's director turned into full-fledged incompetence. So I do what I usually do when faced with a crisis: look for a way to solve it and move on. We fortunately found June a spot at the Montessori school in our neighborhood and we were lucky that she just barely made both the age cutoff and the no diapers cutoff (Yay! potty trained!)

Uncle Chris came to visit us for Christmas
After what seemed like an interminable holiday break (and a nice, quiet Christmas) and much talking up and preparing for the new school, her start date of Jan. 14th finally arrived. She went for just half day as they like to phase in new students slowly. She came home, took a long nap and woke up with a fever. Bummed, but optimistic her little immune system would prevail, I put her to bed early thinking she would be fine to go by the next day. But she wasn't. And not the next day either. She was sick. We juggled staying home with her and working, trading off according to whom had what to do.

On top of it, it was as gloomy last week outside as it was inside. No sun, rain turning to freezing rain (what ever happened to snow??) and then more of the same. For five days straight. Or it could have been more. I lost count. And it seems everyone I know is sick. Sick kids, sick parents, sick dogs.

We are better now, thankfully.  Everyone's healthy and ready to start a new week. We have the lunch basket ready to go and we will try this new school thing again.

And, in other hopeful news, there's a new baby across the street who came three weeks early but he's healthy and strong and our friends are doing well. I've been cooking for them and doing their laundry this weekend as their house is inconveniently under construction and they have no washer and dryer. I love cooking for people when they need the help, especially when it involves a new baby. I've been doing a lot of that lately. Babies are everywhere in our circle of friends and neighbors. It makes me realize we live in a wonderful neighborhood where everyone knows and cares for each other and our kids will grow up being friends. There are other places I'd rather live sometimes, but I know we have a great community here, good friends and a lot to be thankful for.

I am hopeful for this new year and the fresh start it allows me. I'm very excited for this next phase for June too --starting a 'real' pre-school, in a class with older kids where she'll be challenged and hopefully supported and loved everyday. And even though we are starting pre-school a little earlier than planned, she's ready for the challenge.

I'm also relieved because she will go to school an extra day per week which will give me time to... breathe. And maybe go to the gym again, get healthy, get back to my writing, look for new horizons, meet a friend for coffee, the options seem endless. I'm giddy at the thought of having one partial day to myself --no work and no mothering. Ahhhhhh.

Daniel has some new possibilities to grow in his career this year too. And my job is changing, evolving... but I continue to like the place and the people I work for. Sometimes it's too much and it's hard to get everything done and still find the joy in doing it. I've been too busy lately to look up and figure out if I love it anymore or if I am just going through the motions, like an uninspired-robot-pastry chef. Or whether I am living up to my full potential for a satisfying career and the right balance of work and motherhood. I intend to figure that one out too.

It's unlike me, I know, but I feel pretty optimistic lately. And, although we have our ups and downs like most people, there is so much love in our little house. Since she's been sick June has been extra snuggly and affectionate. When she throws her little arms around my neck, gives me kisses and says "Mommy?" Yes. "I love you," I want to melt and cry and thank my lucky stars to be where I am today. I know I complain a lot and I am the worst at finding the grass is always greener somewhere else. And that's when I look up at the mantra I copied years ago that sits on my desk and repeat it: "Be happy with the life you're actually living." 

Happy new year and--let's have more fun!