Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life 2.0. Letting Go

I am a selfish person. A bit of a control freak. And I didn't truly see that until the separation/divorce.

Because, until recently, I controlled almost every aspect of the girls' lives.

I know who their doctors are. I know when to schedule their appointments. I know that the only hairdresser who can cut Charlotte's stick-straight hair and Hannah's ridiculously thick hair with the same perfection is Suzy at Beauty Queen in San Carlos. I know that, when it comes to yogurt, Hannah will only eat Yoplait low-fat originals and Charlotte will only eat Trader Joe's non-fat French Vanilla. I scheduled their camps and classes and play dates and birthday parties and doctor's appointments. I helped them choose their clothes and shoes and accessories. I said "No" to the plaid skirt-tie-dyed-shirt-polka-dot-tights combo. I got yelled at for it--by them--but I said "No" anyway. Most of the time. I chose most of their books and toys and puzzles. I helped Charlotte with her speech therapy and physical therapy and occupational therapy. In short, I was the boss.

But now I have to share all of that. And I don't like it.

It's not an easy thing to let go of--not even the half time that Thomas has them. And not even when he's doing such a good job at it.

It's not that I didn't think that he could do it. It's that it hadn't ever really occurred to me that he'd need to. It wasn't supposed to be this way--after all, the SAHM thing was my job for almost eight years. And, while there were times when it was hard to be at home, times when I missed interacting with adults, this was my job. It was a job I wanted. A job I still want. A job I didn't know I guarded so jealously until last night, when I saw the papers for Hannah's new school. The papers that had a name--not mine--at the top. The papers that listed an address--not mine--as her home. Her home is with me only on Wednesdays and Thursdays and every other Friday/Saturday/Sunday. And that's hard. Even when he's doing such a good job.

Between the two of us and the two houses, we've somehow managed it so that the girls actually do chores now. They make their beds (almost) every morning before breakfast. They know how to fold clothes--theoretically, sure, but it's a start. They put away their toys. Sometimes. They take off their shoes when they come in the house. They get up and go to camp and go to bed when someone tells them to. Charlotte does push ups (or tries to), which is really good for her shoulder girdle. Hannah showed me the proper way to do crunches which is, let's face it, really good for my abs.

Next week is the first week of school. And Monday is a particularly important day, as it will be Charlotte's first day of Kindergarten. My baby off to school. All grown up, as she thinks, even if I'm not ready to admit it. And Monday morning isn't my morning to have them, so I won't be the one getting them ready for their first day of school, helping to choose their clothes and do their hair and pack their lunches and get their backpacks ready.

But I will still get to practice the mad rush to be at line-up on time; there's no way I'm going to miss walking with Charlotte to Mrs Baldini's classroom, marveling--as we did with Hannah--that that tiny little person is ready to go to school. And I go to school with Hannah for her first day, too, and try not to worry because I know that math homework at the Smarty Pants school is going to be even harder for me than her second grade algebra and plane geometry were. Fortunately, Thomas is pretty good at math, too.