Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

No Holiday Stress Over Here December 20, 2018

A couple of school concerts

FINALLY getting the kids passport applications done and mailed

Mailing off the only Christmas gift I had that needed mailing

Receiving our annual Christmas cake from my Aunt in Jamaica

Already eating ALL of the annual Christmas cake we got in the mail from my Aunt in Jamaica

Making an ugly Christmas sweater

Indulging in Spirit Week at each kids school – (Every day there’s a theme they have to dress like)

Finding (too large to match the rest of the display) plastic toy animals mixed in with my African wicker nativity scene

Watching a 1970’s Christmas movie

Getting to the end of a really good book – And then starting another

Sleeping in

Deciding to stay home and be lazy all weekend

But then …

Going to Church and really appreciating the spirit/vibe/nature of the Church we attend

Eating out (aka not cooking) both on Saturday and Sunday

Finishing a knitting project that’s been languishing

Getting new (bigger for a bigger project) knitting needles and new yarn

Going to the mall to do some shopping for an older family friend

Falling in love with a new Bath and Body Works scent

Getting a quick 20 minute massage

Wondering if I should go back and get more of that same scent so I have extra in case they discontinue it

Getting roped into a work holiday pot luck lunch; complete with ugly Christmas sweater and gift exchange

Finalizing some plans for trips we’re taking early next year

RELAXING

 

 

Just some of the things that’s been happening since my last post on Dec 11th.

This was a no frills post because I’m in a take it easy mood at this point.

Really hope you guys are not all stressed out.

 

Breathe In. Breathe Out. Close Your Eyes. Listen To Music. Read A Book. Take A Walk. Do The Thing That Relaxes You.

 

A Life Appreciation Post December 11, 2018

We are not big on the kids sleeping over at friends houses – if we don’t know the family well. That said … Jay got invited to a sleepover to celebrate one of his school friends birthday. My initial thought was no. But my mind kept drifting back to … well, maybe.

Having good friends is huge. For many autistic people, having any friends is huge. I mean, just yesterday the mom of a popular facebook page posted the foll:

 

Screenshot_20181211-102225_Facebook

(As you can probably assume, her son Greyson is non-verbal and uses a device to communicate.)

 

I had met the mom issuing the sleepover invite before. She seemed very nice each time. As Jamaican people would say “mi spirit did tek to her”. Jay had been invited to and had attended that same kids birthday party last year so this is not a brand new friendship.

After talking to the mom 1 more time and asking questions like “which other kids that we know will be there and *do you have a gun in your house?”, we agreed to let him go. He was so excited about it and the other kids were excited to see him when we showed up – that made it easier for me to walk away after the drop off. I want this for my son. I want him to have friends and to be included.

 

*~*

 

For the first time – I think ever – Ace had Shaunie and I to himself for an entire evening and night. He’d been asking to go to a Hibachi restaurant but since we knew Jay wouldn’t eat any of the food there it hadn’t happened. This was our chance. We didn’t tell him where we were going and to see his face light up once the realization hit was awesome. The evening did not disappoint. From the initial giant flame to clean the stove area, to the flaming onion volcano to the catching of the food in your mouth to the fake egg being thrown at him. He loved it all. And I loved watching him love it all. He tried the miso soup and said it was good. He did not eat any of the salad but … are you ready?… he ate a piece of zucchini AND a mushroom. Of both he said “It was ok but I don’t want anymore.” He did like the rice and although he had chosen to order steak, he said the best part was the complimentary 3 pieces of shrimp he got. Neither of those meats are things he typically eats.

I was just so proud of him. I want this for my son. I want him to have a wide variety of experiences and to know that even though sometimes his wants are not immediately do-able, when we can, we will do, just for him.

Following the hibachi dinner, at Ace’s request, we browsed Barnes and Noble where we each got a new book.

 

*~*

 

The next day we picked Jay up and heard rave reviews from him about how much fun he and the other boys had. He didn’t even want to come home. [Well, hurt my feelings won’t ya 🙂 ] The mom told us how pleasant of a kid Jay is and how polite and how much of a gentleman. It made me feel so good. I know I say this all the time, but truly – I NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED THIS WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER. It’s the most wonderful thing to witness.

 

After we got home it began snowing so we spent the day reading books and baking and playing in snow and finally settled down in front of the TV to watch Christmas Chronicles (a new holiday movie on Netflix). As I sat there, cuddled with my 2 boys under a blanket, listening to them laugh and seeing Shaunie in her spot on the other side of the couch, also under a blanket, the fireplace lit, the Christmas tree lit and already overflowing with presents, the snow falling outside, I had a moment of total and complete contentment. Despite a whole lot of crazy and hectic and worry, we have such a good life and I am so blessed.  I don’t take any of it for granted.

 

 

 

 

*If she did own a gun, I’d’ve had follow up questions about the storage of said gun.  I mean, you can’t be too careful with 7 boys ages 10 and 11 running around.

 

The School Choir December 10, 2018

Jay decided at the beginning of the school year that he wanted to join his schools choir. This came as a surprise because a) he’s never really shown any great interest in singing b) he’s never shown any great interest in any kind of performing c) he comes from a long line of people with horrible singing voices (his mom included).

I am not one to discourage my childrens extracurricular interests though so I filled out the paperwork and every Tuesday morning, before classes started, he would go to rehearsal.

 

About a month ago he began saying he wanted to quit. He just didn’t like it, he said at first. Then I found out he was getting anxious about the upcoming shows. He dreaded getting up on stage and singing in front of a crowd. But as much as Shaunie likes to paint me as the “easy” parent and as much as I try to lean into the boys emotions and I tell them that their feelings are valid and their desires have a right to be acknowledged and taken into account, I made him stick it out. I was not comfortable with him quitting mid-season. He had made a commitment and needed to see it through. His teacher and the rest of the students in the choir had put in a lot of effort during their many hours of practice and they were depending on him (on each of them) to do their part and show up for the team. I told him that all the kids were probably nervous but they would get through it together. I asked him what would happen if they all decided now that they didn’t want to do the shows because they had stage fright. Plus, it wasn’t like he had to do a solo … Remember what I said about the families singing talents?

Ace encouraged him saying he too had been in his schools choir in the 5th grade and he too had been nervous but that in the end it was fun. Jay liked hearing that his older brother had experienced the same thing. It gave him some relief.

Still, he moaned and groaned and asked us NOT to come see him perfom and lost the check needed to buy his uniform shirt and then lost the shirt itself once the payment situation was sorted so we had to borrow one but …

 

They did their first show last week and it was really great. He smiled for pictures and waved at us in the audience.

 

I was so proud of him – and all the kids really.

I even appreciated that the songs were so diverse.  They did Christmas songs and a Hanukkah song and even an old negro spiritual which didn’t sound very “old negro spiritually” coming from a bunch of elemetary school kids but still.  It was delightful.

 

They have 3 more shows at the school this week and then a field trip to perform off-site next week. He hasn’t raised any concerns about those so I guess getting that first show out of the way was all he needed.

 

They start a new season in January and I’m not sure if he will sign up again – I won’t force him if he doesn’t want to. Either way, I will consider this experience a success.

 

It’s Been A While – A Meltdown Story December 4, 2018

Sometimes an old emotion that you had packed away neatly finds its way out of the dusty bin and settles once again in your heart. When that happens, it doesn’t feel like a long-lost friend. It feels like an intruder; one you don’t care for but have to accommodate nonetheless. It’s an intruder that you know well, so even though you don’t want them there, you don’t freak out when they show up, you just do what needs to be done so they can be sent away again.

 

The morning started off like most other mornings. Alarms go off. People get themselves ready for the day. For some it’s school; others work. There’s a little chit-chat. Well, less “chit-chat” and more “requests” – Can I have money for the book fair? Do I really need to go to choir practice? Can you make me some tea please? Can I sit in the front seat?

No. Yes. No and no.

 

Things took a turn when Jay and I got to the door of his school and he realized he had left his glasses at home. For the first time in a long time I saw the swirling torrent of a melt-down heading our way. I tried to get ahead of it. I spoke calmly. I offered to bring his glasses for him at lunch time. He would not hear any of it. His mind had already gone to a place that blocks out reason. A before-care staff member came and tried to assist. At this point we are blocking the door. Through stiff, clipped words and with his entire body shaking, Jay told him that he couldn’t go inside because the other kids would make fun of him. (I’m not sure why he thought that). The staff member said all the right things. “I’m sure that won’t happen. But if it does, you come to me and I’ll deal with it.” None of that appeared to register with Jay.

Just then, a teacher, who I didn’t know, but who obviously knew Jay came in. She suggested that he go to see Ms F and take a minute in her room to calm himself. (Ms F is the autism resource teacher who was our lifeline during his transition to this school 3 years ago and who Jay loves but no longer really gets to spend much time with since he’s fully mainstreamed now).

The teacher sent me on my way, told me that everything would be fine and assured me that they would call if necessary.

 

We hadn’t had a school drop off like that in YEARS. I got to work still a little raw from it. Mostly I was worried that this rough start to the day would mean a rough ALL DAY for Jay and by extension, all the other students and teachers he had to interact with. Throughout the day, I kept expecting my phone to ring.

Nothing.

I didn’t have much appetite and it took a lot of energy to focus on my actual work.

When I picked him up, he came bounding up to me with a big smile. I asked him how his day had been and he said it was great. Gingerly, I asked him about the morning. Specifically, I asked him what happened when he went to Ms F’s classroom.

 

I don’t know how they do it, but special education teachers are magical. At least, the ones we’ve had. I cannot overstate how much they have taught me or how much I respect them.

Ms F apparently gave him a quiet spot to sit for a minute. Then she asked him what was making him so upset. Then she took her glasses off and put them in a bag and told him that they would be the “no glasses for a day” team.

That’s all it took. He went to his own class and proceeded to have a great day.

 

Where earlier my heart had been full of worry; in that moment, it was full of wonder and appreciation.

 

Goodbye old companion – All day anxiety caused by meltdowns.  Your visit was short and not sweet. This wasn’t even a bad storm.  A drizzle really.  But man, it’s in these moments that I am forced to remember and truly appreciate just how far we are now from the years when meltdown hurricanes were a nearly daily occurrence.

 

Thankful for … November 26, 2018

Last Friday, we went out – to a wonderful dinner and then to a nightclub (where a good friend of mine works) – to celebrate my sister in laws birthday. I am thankful for family who live within driving distance and friends who give you the VIP treatment at their place of employment.

 

On Saturday, we picked up a cousin from the airport. She was visiting from England. We dropped her bags off and headed out to a Drag Queen Christmas show. Risqué – Yes.  Irreverent – Yes.  So fun – Yes!!! I am thankful for relationships that stand the test of time and distance. It had been 12 years to be exact since she was here last and not a single beat was missed.

 

On Wednesday, my boss came by at noon and sent everyone home so we could get an early start on the holiday weekend. Yeah, you can bet I was thankful for that. I made a couple of stops, picked up a few things, and when I got home at 2, the house was empty – and stayed that way until about 5. I love my people but YAYYYYY for time alone!!!!!

 

Thursday was a delight. I don’t even know where to start. We all shared the work so it didn’t feel like work at all. Everyone over the age of 11 contributed to the holiday feast. Meaning that Ace (with a little help from England Cousin) made apple turnovers for dessert. The youngest (5 yrs old) led us in prayer before we ate. The middle child (Jay Boogie) helped to clear dirty dinner plates and serve cake. The adults who hadn’t cooked, – ok ok ME – did most of the cleaning up.  I think.  There was Christmas music and card games and tons of laughing and even jello shots. So much to be thankful for.

 

The gluttons for punishment in the family (aka, everyone but me) ventured out for Black Friday shopping on Thursday night after dinner. The kids were super excited to go – as kids tend to be about doing something new and “grown up” that you’ve heard a lot about and seen on TV. England Cousin was excited to go because as a Brit, she’d never been. Shaunie and Cousin Andrea were excited to go because they love to shop but more than that they love to get good deals.

***ahm – Did I tell you yet that Cousin Andrea came down from New Jersey? Well, she did.  And we love having her.

After they left, I was thankful for the couch and a blanket and Netflix and tea and 5 uninterrupted hours of a documentary on the Rajneeshi cult.

 

Friday was all about Washington DC. We ate and took pictures at famous sights and toured a museum and went ice-skating in the park. I was thankful for warm coats and family who are easy going and traffic free highways.

The rest of the weekend was pretty chill. We just hung out and chit chatted and had leftovers. Last night, when asked what their favourite parts of the weekend was, Ace said it was Black Friday shopping, helping to prepare Thanksgiving food and 1 other thing that I can’t remember right now. Jay said it was getting to play video games, eating cake and one other thing that I can’t remember right now.

For me, I was just so happy to have several days full of nothing but love and family and contentment.

 

I hope all of you who celebrate it, had a wonderful weekend in whatever way meant the most to you.

 

On Social Skills November 6, 2018

Jay : Who swapped my good gel pen for THIS? *holds up a regular ball point pen in disgust*

 

Ace : First of all, I’m not answering any questions without my lawyer present.

 

Me : *Takes bow for my excellent parenting skills in teaching Ace his rights*

 

 

We were launched into a full-fledged court proceeding with Jay serving as prosecutor, jury and judge. He would not stop until he had solved the mystery of the missing pen – and truly, the entire thing was quite entertaining.

I was deemed innocent due to having no motive since I had given him the now missing pen in the first place. Next, Ace was deemed innocent due to his willingness to let Jay borrow his gel pen. That meant, through the process of elimination, Shaunie was found guilty of pen theft. She vehemently denied the charges, but without an alibi, her goose was cooked.

~*~

One of the 3 main characteristics of autism is impaired social skills; and we have certainly had many moments where his impairment was severe and noticeable. Too though – and more often than not these days – there are moments when Jay’s social skills amaze me.  Moments like that “courtroom hearing” where he seemed to perfectly understand all the typical features of pretending and sarcasm and teasing and hyperbole.

 

There are still instances though where he hits a bump in the road – so to speak.

Jay came home from school upset and confused about a situation that had taken place earlier in the day. For some unknown reason he had told a classmate that she has buck teeth. Of course, it hurt her feelings and she complained to the teacher who made Jay apologize. The problem is that he didn’t understand what he had done wrong.

I wasn’t making fun of her. I didn’t laugh at her. I just told her that she has buck teeth. She does have buck teeth.”

It was quite a task trying to explain to him that while he may not have meant to hurt her feelings, he had so it was his job to fix it. His intention was not the point.  I told him that in general it isn’t a good idea to talk about someones looks unless you are saying something nice. I tried to explain that his observation probably made her feel self-conscious and therefore, feel badly.

He wasn’t getting it.

Or maybe he was pretending not to get it. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with him because I know him and I know he’d rather pretend that he doesn’t know something than to own up to doing something wrong.  Not that he’d outright lie, but, usually I can see it on his face the moment the connection is made. The confused look gives way to a smirk (which he tries to hide by lowering his head). This one was tough.  I’m still not sure where his head is at with this.

 

One thing I do know is that when it comes to getting what he wants, he knows how to play the game and his social skills are impeccable. He lost a tooth recently and “the tooth fairy” forgot to put the money under the pillow. Jay knows about the tooth fairy *wink wink*, but he still likes to keep up the charade. You know, money and all that. When he asked why the tooth fairy hadn’t come by with money, I told him that I’d simply forgotten and that I’d just hand him the cash. His response? He started giggling and said, “OK. I’ll take it. But can the tooth fairy still come tooI want to be rich.”

 

 

 

Work Life Balance November 1, 2018

Enjoy it. The kids grow up so fast.

You really should eat better and exercise.

Don’t stay in an abusive relationship.

Save money and maintain good credit.

 

All good advice. All things that people say to help others and all things that people already know to be true or right. BUT. Also all things that can be super hard to fully appreciate when you are in the thick of just getting through each day.

I get it. Oh, do I get it. I’ve been guilty of wishing away time and waiting for the kids to get older because in that moment, things were just so incredibly difficult. I’ve not eaten for weeks because I was stressed out and I am so bad at working out that it’s not even worth mentioning. I had never been to the doctor for a check-up until about 2 weeks ago when Shaunie made an appointment and forced my hand. I’ve never been in an abusive relationship but there were definitely some unhealthy situations that I allowed to linger for too long. And I took a long time to get my financial situation in order; (Well into my 30’s).

 

Making these positive changes gives you such a different life though that once you’ve done it, you get severely annoyed at yourself for not doing it sooner.

 

Don’t be a slave to your job. Take time off. Create a good work/life balance.

More advice that well-meaning people give and that we all know to be valid. Then we go back to our 2 hour commutes and our 12 hour work days and our 160 hours of built up vacation time.

 

I spent nearly 3 years in that life. Leaving home before 6 am and not getting home till after 6 pm. At home, things kept moving. The wheels kept spinning. I just missed A LOT of it. For 2 years, I told myself that I really needed to start looking for a new job and then I didn’t for one reason or another.

3 weeks ago I started a new job and it’s been indescribable.

 

I get to sleep in a little longer in the morning and I still get home when it’s light outside.

I sometimes make dinner for my family and clean up and can still find a minute to sit and watch some TV or read a chapter of my book before it gets dark.

 

I get to drop my boy off to school and hear him marvel at the colours of the sky when we step outside. This morning it was glorious shades of hot pink and bright blue.

For the entire month of October, there was a family who lives next to Jays school who used a skeleton family to depict various fun activities. They changed it every day. It was so fun. Jay and I loved pulling up to see what the skeleton family was up to each day.

 

Ace and I get a few minutes in the morning to chit chat before he heads out to the bus stop. It’s invaluable. Yesterday I spent some time talking with him and one of his friends as they waited for the bus.

The boys and I have gone on Burger King and Taco Bell dates in the afternoons and we were able to do a make-up tennis lesson on Monday evening.

The tutor can come earlier in the afternoon so that we can have more time before bed to either get things done or just hang out.

 

Simple things really. But oh my gosh they are the BEST things.

 

I know in the vast majority of cases, people need to learn lessons in their own time; not because someone told them to. We all make moves when we are truly ready to do them. As one of my best friends told me recently, “I know I complain about being fat, but if it was really a problem to me, I’d do something about it.” I do understand that. But if there is anything I can do or say to encourage you to take the step you’ve been wanting to take – but have been procrastinating on – please let me know. I’ll do or say it.

 

You won’t be sorry. I promise.

 

And now I need to seriously get into some sort of workout routine – And stick to it.

 

How A Space Heater Saved Our Lives October 23, 2018

Typically, a group of about 10 of us go camping together in the summer. Some years we have a couple extras. One year we had as many as 22. This year though, we couldn’t find a weekend that was suitable for everyone in our regular crew. Too many other things happening. Babies being born and weddings in other countries being attended and so on.

It seemed as though we’d miss out on our annual camping trip this year. And in some ways we did. But not in all the ways. Our rag tag army of 4 decided to brave the elements and take it on by ourselves.

Camping on a good day is a lot of work. It’s worth it. But it’s a lot of work.

Add to all the normal work that we chose to book a weekend in late-ish October AND hadn’t checked the weather report before heading out. Maybe it was a good thing that we hadn’t checked because had I known a storm was going to pass through I may have pulled the rip cord and spent the weekend on my couch.

 

We arrived at the site around 8pm on Friday; which is later than we normally try to get set up.  I mean, setting up in pitch blackness can be a little tricky.  None-the-less, we got the tent up, made a fire, hung out for a little bit and then went to bed without any problems.

Let me just say – Thank the heavens we had brought a space heater. It saved our lives when the temperatures dropped in the night. Even with the bit of warmth, no-one got a good nights sleep however. It rained pretty hard and the air mattress Shaunie and I were on, lost air steadily as the night progressed. By the time we “woke up” the next day, we were feeling hard ground beneath us.

Oh well. All part of the fun I told myself.

Saturday was a great day. The kids made a hot dog breakfast on the open fire and Shaunie made eggs on the one burner propane stove we had. We toured the site and found that it was quite nice. It sits on a river which I’m sure would be fun to swim in, in the summer time. They had a basketball court, a bouncy thing for the kids to jump on and a game arcade (which we didn’t actually use). Back at our site, we played board games and Jay threw rocks into the river. At one point he tried walking down a hill but he slipped and ended up going down the muddy slope on his butt. It was pretty funny and he took it like a boss.

In the afternoon there was a costume contest (since it’s so close to Halloween) and also there was trick or treating. The boys ended up with 2 bags full of candy. I snagged a snickers bar and some vampire teeth. We had no idea we were supposed to bring candy to give away but it was ok; All the regulars (who clearly knew the deal because they came PREPARED with legit decorations) made up for it and there was more than enough to go around.

When it got dark, we went for a walk on a haunted trail (also set up by the camp site) and it was really good. I think Ace was the most scared out of the 4 of us. But he made it all the way through and I was proud of him.

Saturday night was rough since a storm came through. Really heavy wind and rain lashed outside and our little tent was swaying a lot. It also got seriously cold. The space heater helped for sure, but it didn’t come close to making us warm. Poor Ace got so scared by the wind that I ended up moving to his air mattress and cuddling him all night.

We all woke up exhausted on Sunday and even though the sun was out, it did not help to warm us up at all.

We packed up and left the site at around 11:30.

 

All in all, I think it was good that we pushed through and did it. Shaunie may disagree with me.  But the kids enjoy it and I think it’s good for them to spend time “roughing it”.  Plus, I am all about having family traditions and this has become one of ours.

 

See ya again next year camping equipment. In the summer though.

 

What’s Been Up? October 17, 2018

What should I write about?

I could mention that one of Ace’s friends was giving him props and said “You my nigga” to which Ace promptly responded, “No.  I’m not.  I don’t like that word.” And how proud I was of him that he spoke up even though it was from a friend and not intended to be demeaning or insulting and even though it had the potential to turn what had been a pleasant moment into something more serious and uncomfortable.

I could tell you that Jay came home complaining about another student and during his rant, he said among other things, “… he’s retarded” and I was completely taken aback by that word choice.  I let Jay finish and then we had a discussion about the word “retard” and that it’s not the correct word to use because it’s insulting to people who have an actual medical issue or disability.  I suggested other words that he could use instead and was very pleased when he said, “Oh yes, that makes sense.  I won’t use that word anymore.  Well, he’s a total jerk and you should talk to his mom.”

 

 

Ooh, can we talk about how Jay had a project at school where he was supposed to make a plant cell model?  At least, that’s what he told me the project was.  I spent time on the weekend getting necessary supplies.  I took a minute to complain about having to do a project on Facebook.  We built (what I thought) was an awesome plant cell and Jay took it to school.  ONLY FOR IT TO BE WRONG.  Ugh!  I got a call from the teacher explaining that Jay had not accurately understood what the project was so we need to do it all over.  There is a part of me that fully appreciates how willing the teachers are to give us more time and how they tried to not make it into a big deal by saying “He just took the assignment too literally and you know, once he has an idea in his head, he gets stuck on that.  We won’t grade his project until Thursday so you can work on it.  It won’t take too long.  And we’ll talk with him today and give him some examples and maybe have him look at some of the other kids projects to make sure he understands before he comes home.”  There is also a part of me that’s like “NOOOOOO.  NO MORE PROJECTS!!!!!!  How bad would it really be if he got a zero this one timeAnd seriously, who gives 5th graders nothing but verbal instructions on a project?  Not everyone processes the same way.  It would have been lovely if, in addition, to the verbal instructions given in class, they also sent home written instructionsPlus, I feel badly for him because he really hates not understanding things because it makes him feel stupid; which he certainly is NOT, so having to do the entire thing again will not go over well.”  (Spoiler alert:  I won’t actually let him get a zero.)  But this will make 3 projects in 5 days.  2 of which needed to be done the night before they were due so that’s no fun for Mom.

 

Let’s end on a high note.

The 15 minute commute is going swimmingly.  Yesterday, I got home at 4:30, and was able to take the boys to Chuck E Cheese for Jays school spirit night.  They had a great time, which means I had a great time.  We got home and were all ready for bed by 8, after having done homework, cleaned the bathroom, taken out garbage, had a very fun pillow fight, done nightly reading, talked on the phone, ironed clothes and tidied rooms.

This morning, I set my alarm for 7am, showered/dressed, hung out with the older boy a little bit while I made tea and then we both walked out the door together.  I made it to work at 7:55.  Simply wonderful!!!

 

Sneak Peak October 14, 2018

I have news.  Well, you know how I used to talk about how much I enjoyed my job but I had a long, painful commute?  I’ve given that up and I will start at a new job this week.  It is bitter sweet in that you never know what kind of boss or coworkers you’ll get when you start a new job and I really did like my former ones BUT that drive was simply too much.  90 minutes in the morning and 2 hours to get home.  More than half of that being nothing other than me sitting in traffic.

I will now have a 15 minute commute and I am very much looking forward to the extra time at home.

 

Last Thursday was my final day of that awful drive.  Actually, it was only half awful because I left early and was home by 4pm.  I picked Jay up from school on my way home and since Ace takes the bus he was there waiting for us.  By 6pm, we’d had dinner and cleaned up, the homework had been done and checked, we’d showered, I’d taken out clothes for the boys to wear the next day and chores had been completed.

It was quite a shock to my system since 6pm is usually the time I’d be getting home.  I almost didn’t know what to do with myself then.  Bed time seemed so far away whereas it’s usually the next step once we’ve done our evening routine.

The boys, realizing they had lots of time left, took off running.  As I lay in bed watching TV (something I NEVER got to do at that time before), I heard them laughing and play fighting and chatting.  They were up the stairs and down the stairs.  They were in the kitchen and they were in their rooms.  They bounded into my room wearing their Halloween costumes and I chased them out.  They came back 🙂

We got to just hang out being goofy and silly and it was really nice.  At 7:15, when they had apparently exhausted their immaginations, they asked if they could get on their electronics.  (They don’t typically get to use them during the week).  I said they could for a little while.

 

It was such a lovely evening and while I don’t expect that every evening from now on will be like that, I do feel like it gave me a little sneak peak into what I’ve been missing out on and what it will be like soon.

 

The one downside to this arrangement is that it seems I’ll be the one responsible for preparing dinner since I’ll be the first adult to get home most of the time.  It was kinda nice coming home to a cooked meal every day.

Not THAT nice though.  I’ll take the extra chore of cooking dinner if it means more quality family time.

Wish me luck!