I had a revelation today, and it was that motherhood has a real seasonal element to it. Although I love the boys dearly, I have actually enjoyed being back in my paying job. Something about the "balance of me" was off while I was at home full-time, and going back to work (outside the home) has helped restore that to a point where I feel pretty content with what I'm giving to the boys and Matt and what I'm giving to my colleagues. In turn I feel that I re-claimed some sense of my own identity and am generally feeling like I fit the role of "working mother" better than the other option. In 20 years I may think, what in the hell was I thinking?! but for now, that's the way it is.
There are definitely certain times of the day which are trickier than others, those being the morning departure time where I'm trying to corral everyone out of the house (Blake, have you brushed your teeth? Noah, where are your shoes? Blake, do you want your scooter? All right, Noah, we're going now! Blake, you can't take your bling pimp-my-ride-wheel-lights-flashing plastic car to pre-school because it will start a fight. Noah, shush, I know you don't like being strapped in but we're going now! Blake, let's go, now!). Less difficult, but occurring at a time when I have a lot less energy, is the moment when we walk in the door in the afternoon and I'm treated to this onslaught: Can I have some pink milk, Mom? Can I watch something? Aaaaaaah, get me out of this stroller [my interpretation of what Noah is trying to say through his screeching], Mom, let's play dinosaurs! Mom, Mom, looook, Noah wants to get out of the buggy!)
For this reason, the advent of warm weather has afforded me the perfect antitode to this frenzied 5:30 "unhappy hour": ice cream. Unlike the well-known slogan, the good news is that in our back yard, when I proffer the sacred Mini Milks (flavors are: "chocolate, vanilla and pink"), the screaming stops! It's bliss. They sit out there, Blake actually eating his, Noah more manhandling his so that within a few minutes it's fallen to the ground about half a dozen times and collected various pieces of grass, earth and sand - excellent, it's also organic! The calm that descends allows me to take a deep breath, stare slightly less vacantly into the fridge as I explore the limited possibilities of what I'll serve them for dinner, and be ever so thankful that for at least a moment, there is peace on earth. A few minutes later I'll regret the ice cream, as neither of them will actually have any appetite to eat the dinner I've so diligently scrapped together, but for those moments, I just think, what's the harm in a little ice cream? Warm-weather mothering...'tis the season to stock the freezer.