I was so excited to have some time off this week. The boys were supposed to be in camp and I was going to have some time with Rebecca and some time to myself. I was actually looking forward to getting some things done around the house... finding and wiping all the little fingerprints and marks off the walls and doors that have been driving me bonkers, organizing and making lists for our trip to Maine, stuff like that. Now that it is summertime I don't have much time to myself. If I hire a sitter it's so I can get to appointments -- hair, doctors, etc...
On Sunday night Christopher came in to my bedroom and said that he really didn't want to go to camp. He didn't give me a good explanation, but since it hadn't been paid for, I didn't argue too much. And because he didn't want to go Alexander didn't want to go. Suddenly I was back to having three kids at home with me this week. No break in the horizon whatsoever. And I started feeling sorry for myself. Christopher then said that he would agree to go to tennis camp next week (where Rebecca will be) and I saw that there was a program for little ones too. I could technically have next week to myself. So I told Daddy. He asked how much. It was a lot. Not much more than the other camp, but a lot none the less.
We've had to tighten our purse strings a good bit this year. Yes, the children had their five star Disney vacation but we all knew that there would be sacrifices down the road so that we could do this. Everyone was on board. Well, today I am writing the children's tuition check. Private school in the Northeast rivals private college tuition. It's pricey and it stings. This is our decision for the moment. To allow our kids a top notch education we have to sacrifice some other things. That's what life is about, right? It's about making decisions and making the right ones. And learning along the way. It's good for the kids too. Unfortunately most of Rebecca's friends don't have to make such financial decisions, but I think it is important for her to learn that everyone needs to learn to make choices. More importantly it is a lesson in the value of not having everything.
And we also have our property taxes due in a couple of weeks. Also the price of a college tuition. So I decided that I could go without spending $600 on camp for the week for the boys. I would put my big girl panties on and suck it up. But I didn't. I couldn't. I could only focus on the fact that I would not have any time to myself. That I would have to entertain the kids and find creative ways to do so so that the children would not be chanting to the Boredom Gods every hour of every day. It just seemed like such an arduous task. And the boys were bickering all morning. Christopher wanted to play Monopoly. Alexander is too young. Alexander wanted to play Snail's Race. Christopher hates it. It's for babies. I couldn't just pack up and go to the beach because we were waiting to hear from Rebecca and when I would need to get her. So I sat and sulked. And sulked some more. (My liquor cabinet is somehow devoid of both rum and vodka too, and that didn't help matters. So, no It's 5:00 Somewhere Happy Cocktails for me to look forward to.)
Shortly after Noon we got Rebecca and brought her home. I told the kids they could not go back in the house until 6pm! They had to make their own fun. And they did. And slowly I grew out of my funk. They ate lunch on the deck, blew up the pool (that they played with for all of 10 minutes) played with bikes and scooters and baseballs and tennis rackets and went exploring in the woods (not terribly deep) in the woods behind the house and we had dinner outside and before I knew it it was 7:00pm and I was inside and they were still outside!
Instead of focusing on what I didn't have (downtime with no children) I looked around and saw all that we do have and how lucky we indeed are... I suddenly felt so incredibly stupid and spoiled.
So I made a game plan. We'll have a planned activity every day this week. Later on we'll go pick strawberries. When we return we'll make something with them. And we'll play outside. Perhaps I will create an obstacle course. Later this evening or tomorrow evening we'll meet some friends at the beach. On Friday we have a big party to go to. Next week I am meeting friends at the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI. And we'll take the ferry over to Port Jefferson (Long Island) to meet up with a friend from college and her littles... we'll survive... and we may actually have some fun along the way!
But it was my friend Lorraine who really put the smile on my face yesterday. She lives in the Midwest and we talk via Facebook. She saw my status... a comment about wanting summer to be over already... she was having a similar day, and then she told me that there were indeed people having worse days than we were, Bernie Madoff The Sociopath, was one of those people. Oh did that ever make me laugh!
So today I have put on my big girl panties... and today I decided to start the day with a smile... and today the sun is out... and I think that's a pretty good start. And a little trip to the liquor store is planned so that my day ends on a positive note as well!
(If you want to order the above sticker click on it and it will take you to the link!)