bikes planes and automobiles · Early morning musings · family fun · Homeschool · The COVID files

Day 158: That’s a Paddlin’

We went kayaking on Lake Ontario early this morning.

For a few years now I’ve been contemplating how great it would be if I had a canoe or kayak and could go paddling anytime, without having to find a rental. Until this year I assumed that would always be a pipe dream, because where exactly would I store a canoe or kayak? Of course, there wouldn’t be just one; we’re a family of six, and two is the minimum number I could get away with just from an “adult accompaniment” point of view.

When COVID had struck and springtime came, I was looking for outdoor activities to do with the kids. I mused that we could easily go and paddle in the lake or on a river somewhere (I hear the Humber River is nice) if only we had kayaks. Renting wasn’t even an option seeing as at that point everything was closed.

Then a good friend mentioned that her family had four inflatable kayaks. Wait, what? Inflatable kayaks? That’s a thing? Are they just chintzy inflatable rafts with paddles? She assured me that the kayaks were great, they really enjoyed using them, and (best of all) they were $150 each on Amazon. I went to Mr. December and said, “Hey, let’s get some kayaks.”

He was less than enthused, that’s for sure; just like he was the first time I mentioned a bakfiets or mounting swings in the playroom. I used the same strategies as I had those two times: I did my research, kept talking about it, and then essentially informed him that I was buying two kayaks.

They arrived in under a week. And this morning we finally took them out to Cherry Beach and went for a paddle.

It was amazing. I love kayaking and canoeing. I love the feeling of power in my shoulders making its way down and outward to the blades of my paddle. The fresh air, the sunshine, the view, and the exercise — it’s such a pure, heady feeling. A bit like biking, if I was biking somewhere with lovely scenery and zero traffic.

The only regret I have about these kayaks is not buying them in the spring. To think that I could have been paddling all this time! I feel the need to make up for lost time, so from now until it gets too cold our homeschool phys ed program will be focusing on kayak skills… if I take the kids with me, that is.

community · education · Jewy goodness · The COVID files · whine and cheese

Day 144: What’s the Point (of going to shul)?

We are not frequent shul-goers. I wish we were a family that went to synagogue semi-regularly, but wishing something doesn’t make it so, and I guess I haven’t wanted it badly enough to make it happen. Still, in the “before times” I enjoyed services for the singing, the feeling of community, and to some extent, the children’s programming. And I won’t lie, I spent a lot of time in the social hall talking to people I like but don’t see outside of shul.

All that has changed now. Our shul hasn’t had in-person services since early March, but according to the weekly email newsletter they’re starting up again at the end of August. Naturally, there are some strict guidelines in place in the interest of public health. In summary: you have to sign up in advance, stay in your seat 6 feet away from everyone else, bring your own siddur (prayer book), and don’t touch anything. Children’s programs and kiddush luncheon have been axed for now. Oh, and no congregational singing — the leader can sing or chant as required, but the rest of us will have to hum if we want to participate vocally.

My first thought upon reading that email was, What’s the point? Everything I love about shul has been stripped away; what’s left is a bare-bones service that my kids wouldn’t sit still for. And they do have to sit still, because otherwise they might get too close to someone not in our family.

Of course everyone attending the service will be wearing a mask. To be clear, I think this is a good thing. I’m a proponent of masks; In 2003 I was a music therapist in a nursing home during the SARS epidemic. I wore a mask for four hours straight while I sang all the hits of the 1920’s and 30’s. No harm came to me. I’ve been assuming that mask-wearing would be fine for me in 2020 as well — until I went to Lowe’s last week with K. After wearing the mask for forty minutes, my chest was hurting from the effort it took to breathe. The upside was that obviously my mask has a decent seal and is keeping stuff out. The downside? Some of the stuff the mask is keeping out is air that I need to breathe, and my lungs can’t work that hard for that long. I think curbside pickup is going to be my strategy for a long, long time.

Back to the synagogue thing. On one hand, going might be nice — I’d get to see friends at a distance and hear the familiar melodies again. On the other hand, breathing might be a problem for me. On the other other hand, it’s only 90 minutes long, as they’ve cut away all of the preliminary songs, six-sevenths of the Torah reading, and the superfluous-seeming repetition of the silent amidah (for all of my non-Jewish readers, our Saturday morning services usually run at least three hours.) And on the other, other, other hand, it will not be the shul experience I enjoy nor the one I want my children to know and love. If I take them and it’s just depressing and boring, will they go with me again? Or will COVID precautions ruin shul for them forever?

It sounds an awful lot like the debate around returning to school in September. For the record, one of Mr. December’s major reasons for not sending the kids back to school is that he thinks it’s going to be a sucky experience all around. I’m feeling that way about shul right now. I know that some people go specifically to pray and to hear the Torah, and others are in mourning and need a minyan so they can recite the mourners’ kaddish. It’s kind of true that my presence there will help to ensure that there is actually a minyan for the mourners, but realistically it’s not likely to be a problem. So I ask myself, why go to shul? What’s the point?

blogging · education · family fun · Jewy goodness · Kids · parenting · The COVID files · waxing philosophical

Day 136: The Destroyer

When K was born and I announced her name to our parents and brothers, Mr. December’s brother piped up: “Oh, you mean like the Hindu goddess of destruction?”

“What? No!” I said, and shrugged it off. He says a lot of weird things.

A month later, I couldn’t shrug it off anymore. Apparently Mr. December’s friends were all familiar enough with the Hindu pantheon that they recognized K’s name. Then again, maybe they’d just seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom a few too many times.

K has lived up to her (unintentional) namesake at various points in her life. There was the time she dumped the canister of flour on the kitchen floor and then crawled through it; the time she clawed her natural latex mattress to shreds while its cover was in the wash; and her treatment of pretty much every duotang she’s ever put in her school bag.

But this summer’s destruction has really taken the cake. K has killed our swingset — twice. And just yesterday, after I’d fixed the swingset for the second time, she broke the attached slide by (can you guess?) swinging too hard.

This shouldn’t surprise me. The swingset is almost as old as K and is probably at the end of its life. K is what folks call a “sensory-seeking kid” — she needs really intense sensory input to calm and organize her system. Things that would make me dizzy — spinning super fast in an office chair, doing 100 back drops in a row on the trampoline — help her to calm down.

A Hindu friend pointed out that K is not just a goddess of destruction; rather, she destroys things in order to make space for something new. If that’s the case, our K is doing a great job — we need a new slide and probably a new swingset. Maybe if it’s broken beyond repair we’ll finally get around to building a new one.

Today was Tisha B’av, a fast day on the Jewish calendar. It’s a day of collective mourning, in memory of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash (temple) where Jews from all over came on holy days to pray and make sacrifices. When the temple was destroyed, Jewish life as it was known ceased to exist. Without a temple, there were no sacrifices. The Jewish people were exiled. The priests could no longer perform their duties. Everything was ruined.

In the wake of that destruction the Jews had to forge new ways to worship and to remain connected to each other and to their ancestral home. They initiated weekly Torah readings so that the populace would hear the entire Torah read each year; clarified, discussed, and codified Jewish Law; and developed a new form of prayer to stand in for the sacrifices that could no longer be offered.

Most years on Tisha B’av I wonder whether I really am mourning the destruction of the temple. Would I prefer that we were still sacrificing bulls on the temple mount in Jerusalem and relying on a dynastic family of priests to facilitate our relationship with God?

No. I love this Judaism, the one that was built after the destruction of the temple. I love the way we grapple with our holy texts and the way the home is a mikdash me’at (a small temple), the true centre of Jewish life. I love that what distinguishes our leaders is learning, not lineage. I can see so clearly that the Jews of temple times would never have voluntarily destroyed the Beit Hamikdash, but without the destruction, would we ever have dared to eliminate animal sacrifice and adopt a more democratic model of religious leadership?

I doubt it. I couldn’t even pull the trigger on a lifestyle that we lived only because it was the way everyone was living; the children spent all day at school and returned home tired and cranky; Mr. December was at the office all day and got maybe an hour and a half of time with the kids before bedtime; the children had different extracurricular activities at different times in different places, and I was their chauffeur (last year I made six trips every Tuesday evening.)

It’s true that I flirted with the idea of homeschooling, of doing less, of biking more and living a more local lifestyle. But I don’t think I would ever have been able to make that move if COVID hadn’t come along and demolished the existing structure of our lives. Suddenly, Mr. December is working from home and gets to see the kids frequently throughout the day. Extracurriculars might as well not exist for my kids, who don’t like doing things like dance class online. We have all day to be together. Just yesterday I realized that I’m getting to spend some alone time with each child every day. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to do that on weekdays before.

Our swingset is ruined — we’ll likely build a new one that can withstand K’s vigorous swinging, and maybe even includes monkey bars or a ninja line. The temple was destroyed — but we have a beautiful religion and culture based on learning, faith, and the pursuit of justice, with the Jewish home at its centre. Our pre-COVID life has been disrupted — and now we have the incredible opportunity to build a better one.

better homes than yours · education · family fun · Just the two of us · Keepin' it real · love and marriage · The COVID files · waxing philosophical

Day 122: What Have We done?

Three years ago Mr. December and I signed a contract with a builder to completely gut, renovate, and add on to our home. We had done all the due diligence: checked references, compared pricing and contract types, and planned for several years. Still, after we had signed the contract and drunk a toast (the architect brought champagne), everyone went home and I felt a sinking sensation in my chest. I turned to Mr. December and asked,

“What have we done?”

Sixteen years ago, the night before our wedding, I was suddenly anxious. Holy cow, I thought, this is big. This is for life. Am I ready for this? After dating for eight years I was more than ready, but that evening I was very, very nervous.

After a fabulous wedding and honeymoon we came back home to his our apartment. I moved my stuff in. We went to IKEA, came home, and assembled everything together. It was exactly what I had wanted. But one afternoon I just had a hollow feeling in my chest, and I started to cry.

What have I done? I asked myself.

“What’s wrong?” Mr. December asked.

“I just… I just realized that I miss my mom,” I sobbed. “I miss being in my parents’ house. Playing house here is nice, but I don’t think I’m ready for this. I wanna go home!”

Mr. December, bless his unflappable soul, just hugged me and said, “So spend tomorrow at your parents’ house.”

I did; Then I came home to our apartment and everything felt fine.

This morning we booked a cottage rental for the whole month of September. We’ve adopted a system for large transactions: one of us does the research and makes the arrangements, and the other presses the final “confirm” button to make it happen. It’s a way to take shared responsibility for the outcome (and shared blame in case things don’t go well.) I’m generally the planner; This time I spent at least a month combing through possible cottages, creating spreadsheets and rubrics to weigh their pros and cons. Mr. December and I huddled together at my desk to decide between the two finalists.

“You know,” he pointed out, “Committing to this is basically a commitment to homeschool the kids. It makes no sense to go away for all of September if we want them in school. Are you okay with that?” I thought for a moment, then nodded resolutely.

“Okay,” he said. “Here goes.” He clicked “reserve”… and that was it. Transaction approved, reservations confirmed. Mr. December went back downstairs to get some work done and as I sat at my computer, staring at the screen, I felt the anxiety settle in my chest.

What have we done?

Later I confessed to Mr. December, “I feel like we made the wrong choice. I’ve been feeling anxious ever since we booked the cottage.”

“Me too,” he admitted. “It’s a normal reaction to making a big decision.”

He’s right: it is. So right now I’m listening to my inner voice as it freaks out and tells me that I’ll never have a day alone in a quiet house again; I’m doomed to spend the next year fighting with my kids over things like punctuation; and we’ve clearly done the wrong thing. I’m listening to that voice, and I’m taking a deep breath and thinking, It’s okay. It’s normal to feel this way. We’ll take it as it comes. We’ve planned for this. We’ll be okay.

So that’s it. We’re embarking on a new adventure. We’re homeschooling (and Mr. December is working remotely,) which means we can be pretty much anywhere (COVID permitting): the cottage, Barbados, Israel… anywhere. This feels huge. Epic. Amazing.

Good Lord, what have we done?

education · family fun · Jewy goodness · Kids · parenting · The COVID files · what's cookin'

Day 120: This is not what “until 120!” means!

“Until 120!” Is a Jewish greeting at milestones and life-cycle events. It means that we wish the other person a long life (preferably a healthy one.) As I typed out today’s title, I couldn’t help thinking cynically that we’ve made it to day 120 — can we catch a break now?

I guess we sort of did: our nanny’s COVID test results came back negative. FINALLY. It’s only been a week, after all. I think we’ve done pretty well without her this past week, what with the kids doing their own laundry and dinnertime chores, but we’ll all be happy to have her back.

Speaking of kids and household work, tonight R and E made dinner (with very little help from me.) We had vegetarian tacos — my recipe for those is pretty much foolproof. E worked at her low kitchen sink, draining and rinsing the beans and mixing them with veggie “ground beef” and a jar of salsa. I’m still amazed at what little kids can do by themselves when the tools and equipment are the right size for them.

(Oh, and that Henessey box? It’s just a really nice box. One of the kids adopted it from my uncle’s house and it’s come to rest in our kitchen.)

Tonight I was looking online for a cottage to rent in September (if we homeschool, we can take summer break whenever we want, right?) and K elbowed me out of the way. I figured, Why not? She should learn how to research this stuff too. I was off doing something else when she hollered for me.

“Hey, Eema? I found one! It’s perfect!”

“What’s perfect about it?” I shot back.

“It’s so nice!”

“How nice is it?”

“It has a hot tub!”

“No, I mean how nice is it? Is it $500 a night nice? ‘Cause that’s way too nice.”

Turns out it wasn’t quite that far outside of our price range, so now the hot tub cottage is in the running. I also found a less expensive place that has a bunkie (i.e. a tiny shed with a bed inside, for moody tweenagers to hide in.) I may have won K over with that one, not that it’s her decision.

We had a family meeting tonight to discuss home schooling, vacation plans, and personal achievements. K said she was proud of getting most of the way through the grades 6-8 algebra book; N was proud of his math work as well, as was R (whose achievement was that she can now do her division questions in half the time it used to take. I know I shouldn’t belittle that achievement just because ten questions used to take her an hour, but…)

E was proud of having finished reading two boxes of Bob books already. And me? I told the kids that I’m proud of how I was able to get organized and maintain the structure so that we could homeschool. But most of all, I look at how they’re thriving right now, and I’m proud of all of us.

education · family fun · Kids · The COVID files

Day 119: I can’t believe it’s come to this.

Folks, the unthinkable happened today. I did a hard workout because I just felt “off” and I wanted to feel better.

Not being able to go anywhere or do anything is a real pain. Under normal circumstances (or should I say “new normal circumstances?”) I’d go outside for a walk or a bike ride if I was starting to feel squirrelly. But our nanny’s COVID-19 test results aren’t in yet (126 hours after the test was taken), so we’re not leaving our house.

Which is how I ended up standing on foam play mats on the back patio, doing squats, push-ups, and other torture methods exercises.

My intention was to go outside by myself and sweat it out for fifteen minutes so that I could get some endorphins flowing and use some of my pent-up energy. That vision came to a screeching halt when E followed me outside and began copying my actions, keeping up a steady monologue through 45 seconds of each exercise. “Am I doing it right, Eema? Am I? Is this a real push-up?” I was breathing too hard to answer, which is a good thing as I suspect I would have snapped at her to leave me alone. At least this way she felt welcome.

On the upside, I felt a lot better after my workout and my shower, and the dinner I made went over a little too well, by which I mean that everyone gobbled it up and asked for more. I had hoped for second helpings, but it wasn’t to be.

As several of my readers informed me after my post about E and Sudoku, it turns out there is something called “Kidoku” that comes in 4×4 and 6×6 formats. Mr. December found it online and printed up a bunch of different puzzles, and the kids sat around the table doing puzzles for at least an hour yesterday. This morning E asked if she could do her sudoku instead of math; Since she’s currently working on learning how to write numbers, I figured Sudoku was even better than copying the numerals with no apparent purpose.

That’s a lot of puzzles!

Speaking of E and schooling, she’s been highly motivated to read the Bob Books. She blazed through the first box and is well on her way to finishing the second. Ever since I sweetened the deal with chocolate chips she’s been begging to read to me all day long.

I’m glad she’s caught the reading bug, because I just discovered an online bargain bookstore and I might have gotten a little carried away buying books for the kids. There were actual squeals of joy when these boxes turned up on our doorstep:

N immediately dove into the “Who Was” books (I think we now have 90% of the series) and R became absorbed in Little House on the Prairie, while Mr. December read The Everything Book of Homeschooling and informed me that it was disappointingly basic. Those books tend to be, when you’re the type of person who overthinks and overplans absolutely everything — which, as you know, he is.

That’s all for tonight. My legs feel like jelly and I’m yawning already. If I play my cards right maybe I can get the kids to tuck me in for a change.

education · snarky · The COVID files · well *I* think it's funny...

Day 118: “No News” is too Succinct

Everything feels like it’s up in the air about school in September. A few weeks ago our provincial government very helpfully laid out what they thought would happen. They declared that schools should plan for three possibilities:

  1. Full-time, in-person school
  2. Part-time in-person and part-time online
  3. Full-time online learning

At which point I rolled my eyes and intoned, “Thank you, Captain Obvious! Once again, you have saved my village!”

One might think that I’d have gotten used to “news” that contains nothing new; and yet I was annoyed by an email that came from one of our schools. I read it to Mr. December, interjecting my own comments:

Dear School Families, 

We hope you are having a wonderful summer, soaking up the sunshine and staying cool!

We wanted to keep you informed that we are working thoughtfully and intentionally

“Well, I should hope so!” I grumbled. “You wouldn’t want to tell us that you’re working thoughtlessly and unintentionally, would you?”

 in consultation with our school COVID committee —

“Do you suppose our school COVID committee knows something that our Province’s chief medical officer doesn’t?”

on a plan for the 2020-21 school year that will deliver a rich education, maximize in-person learning, and ensure the health and safety of our community. 

“In other words,” I translated, “They’re really hoping that this whole COVID thing goes away, because otherwise they have to come up with a magical plan that has eluded every other school in the world.”

Mr. December grinned. “They can’t exactly say, ‘The program this school year is going to be pretty lame, but we hope to see your kids in person once or twice a week; We’ll spend morning prayer time praying that nobody gets sick from our in-person meetings.”

— We appreciate your patience as we work out the final details of the plan.  We intend to share the plan with you by the end of next week.

“Is it just me, or does that sound like they have nothing yet?”

“Yeah, someone’s gonna be pulling one heck of an all-nighter next week,” Mr. December nodded sagely.

Shabbat Shalom, 

The School Team

Mr. December said, “This sounds like something Abraham Lincoln said; the writers managed to compress the most words into the smallest ideas possible.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. “The TL:DR* should say something like, So far we’ve got nothing. Sit tight. We’ll get back to you.

“They probably spent several hours wordsmithing this email,” He pointed out.

“Still,” I sighed, “I suppose it was nice of them to write.”

*TL:DR = Too Long: Didn’t Read. In other words, a summary.

blogging · The COVID files · whine and cheese

Day 117: A Numbers Game

I’ve always enjoyed crossword puzzles. Six years ago I added Sudoku to my list of pen-and-paper pastimes. And this weekend, E suddenly became fascinated with the puzzle page of the newspaper (only when I was doing the puzzles, naturally.) As I filled in the crossword she stood beside me asking, “Is there one that I would know? Ask me one!” When I did, she got it right. Every time.

Then tonight I was minding my own business, doing an “Evil” Sudoku (so named for its level of difficulty, not its morality,) when E climbed up on my lap and asked how it works. I began explaining and she was so interested that I flipped to an “Easy” puzzle; we ended up doing the whole puzzle together. I asked the leading questions, she checked what numbers we were missing, and I wrote down the answers she gave me — except for the ones and sevens, which she feels she can do neatly enough by herself. Do they have Sudoku books for five-year-olds?

In other news, our nanny developed a headache and cough on Monday; her doctor advised her to wait a day, then get tested for COVID. On Wednesday the testing centre staff told her the results would be ready in three to five days (am I the only one who’s surprised by that? What happened to 24 hours? Wasn’t that a thing?). Today was day four, she checked the website she was given at least five times, and there was no result available. There was a phone number to call… but not on weekends. Given the fact that we’re all in quarantine until she gets her results (assuming the test was negative), you can understand why I’m so impatient with the system. I can’t help thinking this could all be done more efficiently.

I’m not particularly worried: one of my Facebook friends just posted a link to a database of COVID cases in Toronto. Searching by neighbourhood and then by postal code, there seemed to be only sixty cases in our area since March, and no active cases currently. Very reassuring. Less encouraging is that the website was clearly created by a thousand monkeys coding on a thousand computers for a thousand hours. Mr. December and I both tried and failed to sort or filter the data; I finally resorted to a manual search for active cases.

According to the title, today is day 117 since the COVID shutdown began. Do the numbers even matter at this point? Should I bother to keep counting?

“Is it sort of like a post-apocalyptic thing where the people start counting again from year zero?” I muse aloud to Mr. December.

“Yup,” he affirmed, “It’s exactly like that.”

A long and winding road trip · blogging · education · family fun · Keepin' it real · Kids · parenting · The COVID files · whine and cheese

Day 100: Wait, what?

It’s been one hundred days since the COVID shutdown began. You know how people with new babies say, “I can’t remember what life was like without her”? I can barely remember what life was like before the shutdown. I mean, I remember intellectually, but it doesn’t feel real anymore.

E often makes statements that begin with “After the coronavirus…” She has big plans, like a playdate with her friend and eating at a restaurant — things we wouldn’t have thought twice about four months ago.

There is definitely a part of me that doesn’t want to go back to driving, schlepping, extracurriculars, and over-scheduled days. But there’s still this sadness about the possibility that our world really has changed forever (although I’m a bit skeptical about that; major things happen and everyone says the world has changed, and then it just kind of goes back to status quo.)

Today is one of those days where I just need the kids to stop talking for five minutes. I’m irritable and so frustrated by how… slowly… they… do… everything. We played a game of Agricola and by the end I was rushing them along because all I really wanted was five minutes to myself to enjoy a bedtime snack without people watching me eat and sidling up to me with mouths upturned, like baby birds waiting for a regurgitated worm.

“Holy cow, R, just make a move already!”

“I’m thinking!

“You need to do your thinking while other people are taking their turns, then. N, you do realize there are negative points for having empty spaces, no animals, and no crops… right?”

He ended up with a grand total of 8 points (for those who don’t know the game, when good players play they might have fifty or sixty points at the end) to R’s 21 and my 32. Afterwards I wanted them to go to bed so badly that I volunteered to clean up all the pieces — and this game has a lot of pieces.

Anyhow, what I wanted to say was that other than the odd day here and there, I’m actually enjoying being all together as a family — almost like on our road trip, but not quite. On the road trip I had absolutely nothing to do other than be with my family. Everything was pre-planned, mapped out, and scheduled. I got to actually enjoy the things we did. The only way I could achieve that level of enjoyment being with my kids is if I took a full day every week to do all the planning, scheduling, and prep work… which isn’t a terrible idea, come to think of it, but something always comes up.

Like today, when we found mouse droppings in the basement storage room. Time to drop everything, clear out that room, clean up, plug up all holes in the masonry with steel wool and expanding foam, and set out some traps. It definitely took me away from things like doing math with E or reading to the kids.

So it’s been 100 days. Have we learned anything in that time? Well, I learned that my kids had huge gaps in their academic learning; that if I don’t make time for myself (and I don’t, sadly,) nobody else will; that I mostly enjoy having my kids around me; that some of my children function far better at home than at school. I’ve probably learned other things, too, but that’s what I’ve come up with tonight, still running on last night’s six hours of sleep (because I stayed up googling ways to help K overcome some of her academic issues). I guess I could claim that I’m 100 days smarter, if not better rested.

What have you learned in the last 100 days?

education · Independence · Kids · mental health · parenting · The COVID files · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day 91: Having Difficulty

Dear Family,

Today was a difficult day for me. I slept very poorly last night even though I went to bed early, and I mostly walked around in a daze all day today. I’m sorry I wasn’t more available to you. Nevertheless, there are some things that I want you to understand:

I get that it’s frustrating to have a wife or mom who’s disorganized and tired much of the time. Please believe that it’s frustrating to be that wife or mom. I want to be available, on the ball, and organized for everyone, and when I can’t, it hurts – especially when I can see that I’m disappointing the people who matter most to me, and even more so when it’s not an infrequent event.

I know you’re super frustrated to be stuck at home with us instead of out there with your friends. I know that our existence right now is a lot like the movie Groundhog Day, the same thing over and over. But you know what? Our relationship doesn’t reset itself every morning. If you unload all your angst by yelling at me for an hour, I might not want to snuggle on the couch and watch movies right after that.

It’s okay to have to figure things out for yourself. Not sure what you’re supposed to do next in your workbook, and now I’m napping? Don’t you think there’s an excellent chance that what I want you to do next is the… wait for it… NEXT thing in the workbook? Use some imagination here, people! Look for clues! Maybe my 90-minute nap made it more difficult for you to know what to do, but it’s disingenuous to say that you couldn’t do anything without my say-so. Especially when your checklist specifically says “check the calendar for page numbers!”

I have ADHD. I have depression. I have fibromyalgia. I have a concussion. These are not excuses, they are facts. I try my best. It’s often not good enough. It makes me angry too — the me that I see these days is not who I thought I’d be at forty. It’s not who I want to be for myself or for you. On days like today I’m not the mom I want you to remember when you think of your childhood.

I don’t like wallowing in self-pity. I don’t like crying; it gives me a headache. I’m going to bed now so I can be a better me tomorrow; hopefully tomorrow my best will be good enough.