Marc's job has killer hours these days. There's flexibility, which is much needed, as we're still down to just his car and we have three kids who need to be toted hither and yon, but there's also a LOT of late nights. We still managed to eek out a little time together, mornings, sometimes. And sometimes mid-afternoon, he can hang for a bit, but he's not here, mostly, at night. I miss my husband, and my kids miss their dad. But we're adjusting to the new normal, which is most nights, just the four of us rocking around the house. I make dinner a lot earlier, and usually manage to get everything cleaned up before bed. Julie has, for the most part, given up her nap, so she's generally down for the night around seven thirty or so, Sam conks out around eight or eight fifteen, and I try to get Jessie to sleep for nine.
Things are good these days. Jessie seems to have finally adjusted to the world of fourth grade. It was a rough, really rough, beginning. With lots of tears and frustration on everyone's part, but she brought home a stellar report card today. All As and Bs, with the exception of a high C for math. But she got As for math effort and conduct, so I'm still beaming. Hebrew School has gotten a lot better for her as well. I don't know that it got better, because it was never bad, but she seems to have gotten used to it, and is now happy about going again.
Sam adjusted to school pretty quickly after the first week or so, but Hebrew school was a much tougher battle to fight. But he's going now, and sitting thru class without me there, and I couldn't be prouder. He's probably never going to be a kid who thrives on extra curricular activities, his default favorite place is always going to be at home, but he's getting more and more used to it. It broadens his world, exposes him to a brighter and bigger environment, so even though it's super hard to force him to do STUFF, I have to keep trying. Slowly, and patiently, but keep trying.
Julie is growing ever bigger, and ever more verbal. She's learning so much every day, counting and singing and using the potty and not napping really at all anymore. Massively opinionated, she's an odd combination of both the older kids, with a dash of just Julie thrown in. She's dramatic and emotional like her sister, prone to screaming when things don't go her way, but staggeringly easy to please most of the time like her brother. She's still my hat girl, only she's moved away from the Batman skull cap to a straw sunhat with a giant fuchsia flower on it. She calls it her cowgirl hat, and occasionally will toss it up in the air and holler "Yee Haw!" Wears it everywhere. Literally. Every-freaking-where. Library, shopping, the synagogue. She takes it off reluctantly to sleep and usually dons it before she comes out of the bedroom in the morning. She's got chronic hat head.
As for me, I'm thinking. I'm thinking and wondering and hoping. As the kids get older, I'm starting to feel... something. Free-er, more available for stuff. More available for me. So much of the past ten years (I'm really aware of the fact that Jessie's next birthday in February will mark a full decade of parenting for me) have been devoted to intense, hands on mothering. Now that Julie is two and a half, potty trained and not napping, I'm starting to wonder what I'll do with myself. I'm sort of putting myself out of a job, in a sense. Not that I'm not still their mother, but for a very long time, there wasn't really time for me to do much else. Not and still mother the way I wanted to. I had stumbled into an admin career pre-kids, and was pretty good at it, but I don't really anticipate going back to a regular 9-5 job. I don't want Julie in full time care, and I don't want Sam and Jessie in full time after school care. So I'm thinking about work from home, and I'm thinking about writing. Still just at the thinking stage, but wondering about what I could do, articles? Columns? A book? I don't know, and mostly, it's all just dreams now. But it's out there, on the horizon...