“[…] You should’ve seen him when old Sally asked him how he liked the play. He was the kind of a phony that have to give themselves room when they answer somebody’s question. He stepped back, and stepped right on the lady’s foot behind him. He probably broke every toe in her body. […] Then he and old Sally started talking about a lot of people they both knew. It was the phoniest conversation you ever heard in your life. They both kept thinking of places as fast as they could, then they’d think of somebody that lived there and mention their name. I was all set to puke when it was time to go sit down again. I really was.”
Yeah. I’m all set to puke tonight. I guess I knew I’d get a little nervy the night before the big day. I knew I’d get nervy but I forgot what it was like to be nervy.
See, Nels is off with his sister to public school tomorrow. His first day at school ever.
My first day at home without a kid. Or two. Or four. My first day since, you know, becoming a parent. No big deal.
Except it’s massive.
I’ve managed to avoid thinking about this much.
First, I did the things I should: put together their school supplies, clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes. Talked things (by “things” I mean: as an unschooling family, having two kids in fulltime school) over with mentors, with a counselor, with my partner, with a couple trusted friends.
It occurs to me tonight that maybe, unconsciously, that’s a reason I’ve been so very busy lately. More tailoring work than even makes sense. Volunteer work, writing assignments, medical tests. And now I’m 50% done with the enormous work of putting together a benefit event – including three radio interviews today! so fun! And I’m not being sarcastic! – with another couple days hitting the pavement hard on that. Today I finished a sewn ensemble for another benefit event. I hadn’t finished the stitching on that before I was asked to contribute to a third good cause (so I guess: people admire my work, love my work, are starting to pay for my work – but more notably are also starting to ask for donations. Interesting!). Honestly, I’ve said “no” to a thing or two, but things do pile up.
So I’ve been busy with all that and it occurs to me I’ve done this on purpose maybe? And now as of this week, I’m processing some new medical information (sort of new, not-so-great medical information), and that’s been really hard.
Yeah. I almost got up to today, to my last day as an at-home carer without school or daycare, you know like my last day in like thirteen years –
I almost got to today without kind of freaking out.
But don’t worry. The freak-out is in evidence.
The kids’ clothes are laid out. Their school bags are packed. Forms are filled out. Rides to and from the bus stop, arranged. Nels says, casually to me: “First day of school tomorrow.” Like a Sir. LIKE A BOSS
Me? For the first time in over three years’ sobriety, I kind of feel like I used to when I had to drink. I don’t have to drink, now. I get to just have Feels.
Big, massive Feels.