Up until recently, I had no plans to enroll Dylan in preschool. For one thing, the vast majority of preschools in our area are ridiculously expensive; for another, I was convinced we could easily do preschool at home.

One pretty big thing changed when Riley went off to school in September, though: Dylan lost his playmate. Now, he doesn’t sit around all day pining for his brother’s company—in fact, he’s generally about a thousand times more well-behaved and good-natured without his shit-stirring partner in crime around. But he doesn’t have anyone to interact with except for me, and while I had the best intentions of doing all kinds of fun and educational activities together, the reality is that my workload has increased. I typically sit in front of my laptop all morning, and sporadically throughout the afternoon as well.

So after tons of searching, I finally found a nearby preschool that has an affordable part-time option, and I reluctantly said goodbye to our long-time babysitter. I don’t have quite as much free time as I did before—he’s only there 2 mornings a week—but I think it was the right thing to do for Dylan. He went to his 3rd class today, and as he did both times before, he exploded out of the classroom afterwards in a joyous tumble of excitement, brimming over with stories. “MOMMY I LEARNED ABOUT P FOR PENGUIN AND PINEAPPLE AND I PLAYED OUTSIDE WITH FRIENDS AND I HAD A SNACK!”

I am sad about the loss of our sitter, whose weekly presence allowed me not only to work uninterrupted but to attend doctor’s appointments and run various errands, but I’m thrilled that Dylan is having fun at his new school, and that Riley is thriving beyond my greatest hopes in kindergarten. I’m thrilled we have the flexibility to change things, when it seems like they need changing. (I’m maybe even a little thrilled I don’t have to work from the library any more, unless I want to.)

I read an amazing article the other day, maybe you did too. It’s written by the mother of a child with a fatal disease, and no, it is not an easy thing to read. But I carefully bookmarked it, and every now and then I read it again. Because it is a powerful thing to be reminded of that which is most important. I can get so caught up in the minutiae of our schedules and whether I’m doing the right things or doing enough things, when life doesn’t need to be so complicated. She writes it so perfectly: the only task here is to love.

I feel beyond lucky these days. Harried and isolated and sometimes more than a little overwhelmed, but ridiculously, insanely lucky.


17 Responses to “Lucky”

  1. shari zychinski on October 25th, 2011 2:03 pm

    hell’s bells…every single day i know how lucky i am…even with my 11 year old, non verbal son with autism. yep. things could always be worse.

  2. Stephanie on October 25th, 2011 2:04 pm

    Lucky, indeed. I read that article, too, and then promptly sent it to almost every mom I know.

  3. Shannon on October 25th, 2011 2:04 pm

    Glad he is enjoying his time at school and you have some peace and quiet at the house to get work done!

    I read that article, too, a few days ago and it really made me sit back and reevaluate things….so often I put my children off for ‘just one minute’ while I do the dishes or the laundry, or if I’m being honest, check my Facebook…this really made me think about what is important…and its not the most popular stories in my news feed in the last hour.

    I actually saved this quote at the end of the article because it really spoke to me…”I am a reflection of him and not the other way around, and this is, I believe, as it should be. This is a love story, and like all great love stories, it is a story of loss. Parenting, I’ve come to understand, is about loving my child today. Now. In fact, for any parent, anywhere, that’s all there is. “

  4. MLH on October 25th, 2011 2:05 pm

    OMG, I bawled my eyes out when I read that article. Couldn’t stop crying for days. I felt my throat tighten even now when I re-read that line about love. I am a new mom (my first child, Holly, is just 7 months old) and I think the experience of becoming a mother has literally cracked my heart open. I am not really a kid person, and was never that interested in other people’s children. Now, there is no child in the world that I don’t feel fiercely protective of. The thought of any one of them being sick or hurt just kills me.

  5. Janet S on October 25th, 2011 3:29 pm

    When you referenced an article, I thought it was going to be this one: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/these-things-happened

  6. Laura Diniwilk on October 25th, 2011 5:23 pm

    “I will love him to the end of his life, then I will let him go”…so incredibly sad. Thanks for linking that article, I hadn’t come across it yet.

  7. Laura on October 25th, 2011 6:16 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I read that article the other night and sad to say, I needed to be reminded about it again tonight.

  8. Faith on October 25th, 2011 8:54 pm

    So glad to hear that preschool is w

  9. Faith on October 25th, 2011 8:56 pm

    Damn. Working out. I’ve had to recently bite the bullet and seek childcare for my toddler as she just needs more attention than I can give her now and still get my work done.

  10. Shannon Lell on October 25th, 2011 9:32 pm

    I read that article the other day too and it was so well written, so poignant, so true. It made me feel the same way, lucky… and I would add tremdously grateful.

    Also, which pre-school did you end up choosing? I’m thinking of doing the same for my 2.5 y/o daughter. With the baby I can’t give her the same kind of attention and stimulation that she needs. I’ve looked into a couple near us, but I’d certainly like to hear about the research you did.

  11. squandra on October 25th, 2011 10:37 pm

    Oh, what a lovely post. And thank you for linking to the Stir post about Riley. I’m overstimulated as it is and am sorry to say I don’t keep up there. I’m so glad I didn’t miss that one. :)

  12. Amy N on October 26th, 2011 12:16 am

    Thanks a lot….laying in bed now with tears running into my ears! Thanks for the kick in the ass!! I was feeling totally overwhelmed by my life tonight…I needed to be reminded how unbelievably blessed I am.

  13. Nikki on October 26th, 2011 6:08 am

    What an amazing article! Definitely a living anthem about not sweating the small stuff and living in the moment. Thanks for sharing!By the way, I’m a long time reader of your blog, just a first time commenter :)

  14. Mel on October 26th, 2011 8:01 am

    YAY for finding the balance you need for right now! ;) That’s all we are really trying to do, ya know. Thanks for sharing the link to the article. It is achingly beautiful.

  15. Kristen on October 26th, 2011 8:50 am

    I too had a lot of thoughts on that article. It also made me think about parents that fall into a different category. http://kcamfam.blogspot.com/2011/10/what-about-tigon-mom.html

    (I’m not just trying to get blog traffic, I have no ads, its just my thoughts. But I do think it is VERY important to remember these other parents who I call, “Tigon” moms).

  16. Christine on October 26th, 2011 10:34 am

    So glad that you and boys are all in good spaces.

    I have to say, g-damn. That Dragon Mom article had me weeping at my desk when I read it a week or so ago.

  17. Louise on October 30th, 2011 5:17 pm

    Hi! I read the Dragon mom article. It made me just hug my kids and realize that expectations are sometimes not worth it. Kids should just be loved without expectations.


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