Oh the guilt.
I have so much of it. Blame the Catholic upbringing. Most recently it was because of spring break. Not because of any girls-gone-wild type of action. I have never been that chick — even when I had the abs for it.
No, this was more because I was thinking back to years ago when I would get so angry about the constant days off from school that forced me to scramble for child care. No one in the history of the working world has enough paid time off to cover fall break, anticipated Thanksgiving break, actual Thanksgiving break, winter break, rodeo break, spring break, the days off we pretend aren’t for Easter but really are, and then the long, seemingly endless summer vacation. Someone needed to watch those kids and before my life was flexible enough to work from home or not at all, I remember scrambling to cover all those days off by calling on the grandparents and creating some really clever tactical delays with the pizza delivery guy.
“Oh, hang on, I can’t believe I misplaced my wallet….”
Six hours later the pizza would be cold, but an adult was with my kids. Kidding. I never did that — only because I just now thought of it. Pretty brilliant.
So spring break snuck up out of nowhere last week, right on the heels of rodeo break, for two out of three kids, and I was actually happy about it. Excited about it. I was gonna hang with my girls! We visited local spots we were super excited about when they opened…. but then never went to because we got busy for three or four or five years. We hiked (one of them grudgingly), we window-shopped and hunted for prom and graduation dresses and then shoes to go with them, we baked cupcakes and chocolate-ricotta muffins, we watched “The West Wing” and generally had a low-key chill time. Who needs Turks and Caicos?
Each day we had just one thing on our agenda that we intended to do, and it was so glorious and then I felt sharp pangs about all those previous breaks when I would get so riled and stressed about not being allowed to have the dogs watch the kids and instead having to find legit child care. You do what you have to do, though, and getting an actual paycheck took precedence. So I’m trying not to feel bad about that and instead relish the time we spend together now. The clock is ticking, which everyone warned me about, but only now am I watching. It’s never gone so quickly.
Luckily, we get to spend one more whole, school-free day this week and then the third kid gets some hang time with me, which won’t be the same because he’s perfectly content to play video games remotely with his friends rather than bake or dress shop. Although, he does love to shop for shoes.
When Monday and regular life busted up all our fun, I’m not sure who was sadder when the girls left for school bright and early, me or them? Now I’m left with just the dogs. To be honest, I’m starting to question if they really like me for me or if it’s just because I’ve started to give them all treats every morning because of misplaced guilt over liking one of them way more than the other two. I’m pretty sure it’s OK to admit that with dogs. Just don’t tell them because the last thing I need is poop in my new shoes.