This week starts something different for me. Kymberlee is in a full day painting class for three days and then heads out to a conference in California for four days. That makes me the principle care giver for Evie, the cook, the taxi driver, and the playmate for seven days.
If this was a year ago or earlier, I would have been scared to death. It’s not the logistics or the lack of free time, but rather the prospect of being her principal friend and playmate. I confessed to Kymberlee earlier about this fear and she seemed surprised, but little does she know how much effort it takes for me to channel my attention to kids for long periods of time. Sure, I can handle 10-20 minutes of fun, swinging them around, doing stupid magic tricks, and even dancing to some music. But more than that? Forget about it.
But now that Evie is six, it’s different. I’m writing this at the gym while she does her gymnastics class. I picked her up from school and we had an almost adult conversation about her day. We joked around at the gym until her class started, with her showing me all the equipment that she uses during her class. It was actually cool.
She’s still six though. A collision during the class sent her to me in tears, giving me the opportunity to practice my sorely lacking empathy skills. There’s nothing like holding a hurt child who completely trusts you and feels better by just being hugged and kissed.
Coming out of class, I helped another parent get their car jump-started while Evie sat in the car. It was weird knowing that I don’t have to amuse her 24/7 anymore, giving me the freedom to do these type of tasks that I love.
Going home to an empty house was strange, but I adjusted as I filled the house with smoke from my pan seared asparagus that complimented the smashed potatoes and lentil melange. Evie did a great job helping me set the table, and she almost ate everything without complaining…
So it was an interesting start to an extra-ordinary week. There is no school tomorrow, adding to the chaos, but this feels strangely like a game that I’m enjoying winning. Stay tuned for more.