About all that “free time”…

It’s been about a month since both boys have been in school. Of course, since Arthur only goes three days a week and October has been jam-packed with holidays and also some sick days for him, he’s only actually been to school for 10 days. Of those days, three days have been spent inside his school and the rest “forest school style” outside while they were waiting for one last permit.

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Anyway, the season of school has just begun, and I think we are still all finding our groove. Scratch that. The boys are fine. They run off in the mornings, Julian often hand in hand with a friend, and Arthur hurries off to greet his teachers. Usually I get a big goodbye hug, but on occasion Julian has just wandered off without saying goodbye, while chatting to a friend. Today Arthur did the same.

After school they are tired and happy. Julian tells me about his day in detail. Math is his favorite. He drew a spider for a Halloween picture. These are the friends he played with at the park. They sang a song about fall for other teachers and kids in higher grades (a performance!). He is seriously so chatty and provides so much information that I was asked to send updates to his friends’ parents because most of the kids say nothing.

Arthur, too, is following suit. Yellow and blue makes green! They learned a new song! They went to the playground, and he played police with his friend Leo and also a little bit by himself. For Halloween one of the boys will be Batman, and there will be two Elsas. He missed me after nap.

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This is how Arthur would greet me the first couple of weeks when I picked him up at the park. He would just fly into my arms! It was pretty much the greatest feeling ever.

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And while all this is going on, what do I do? All summer long everyone asked me what I would do with all my free time! I joked that I would do my nails and stare into nothingness. The truth is, it’s been a little bit different than I had envisioned. There just isn’t that much time!

The first day both kids were in school I went all out. I went for a leisurely walk and took myself out for a lovely lunch.

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Ever since then, I’ve been running errands, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning. It’s been extremely glamorous. To all the mamas who work and accomplish all the domestic things, I have no clue how you do it. I have three days to myself. Well, half days, really. I’m back from school drop off at 10am and have to leave again at 2:15pm. And those hours just fly by.

So while I haven’t gone to any museums or had my hair done or met Jeff for lunch, these hours are still special and somehow different. I do things at my own pace. Some days I go to the gym. Sometimes I walk slower or shop longer or eat my lunch on our stoop. I play the music that I like on the bike. I shower in peace. When I went to get my flu shot, I had to wait in the pharmacy for 10 minutes. Just sitting on a chair. It was so obvious to me what I wasn’t doing at that moment. I wasn’t telling my children “Don’t touch! Stop running! Don’t touch! Put that back! Did you just push him?!” I just sat there. I silence and with my thoughts. That was nice. And I get to run all of our errands without my sidekicks, which pretty much is a win/win situation for everyone involved.

So I guess if I could go back and answer the question about what I would be doing with “all my free time” again, I would say: The same stuff I would normally do. But also taking a deep breath every now and then. I enjoy hearing my own thoughts again after 5+ years of being drowned out by my two lovely, loud boys.

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