Spring break. There are no two words like them to draw abject terror into the heart of a work-at-home mother.
OK, maybe I exaggerate.
Pink eye is two words if you go with the colloquial version. In medical terms it’s conjunctivitis that made me squirm a few weeks ago, on the eve of starting a new job with the fear the creeping crud would transfer to my eyes.
But I digress.
It was the Passover/Easter holiday that had me up nights debating how much work I would have to complete at night, after my husband had returned home and we should be enjoying family time, vs. the amount I could complete before she wakes in the morning.
Five whole days of uninterrupted mother and daughter time had me sweating bullets. I love my daughter, but you can’t blame a girl for her fondness for food on the table.
The weather report wasn’t helping.
Rain, rain and more driving rain, the sort that makes you drive to a neighbor’s house even though the walk would take two minutes at most.
And then a break in the clouds – literally.
While most of Sullivan County was enjoying the sunshine for sunshine’s sake, I was pondering whose toes I should be kissing for this miracle that allowed me to send the 4-year-old outside to play.
No more Wizard of Oz blaring from the living room.
No more Hess trucks being driven into my feet.
No more string cheeses to unpeel in the midst of a conference call.
Nothing but the sweet sound outside my office window of toy bulldozers being “vroomed” through a sandbox.
The crack of a ball on a bat, the twittering of the birds, they’re all sounds of spring that used to make my heart soar.
Ah, but motherhood changed that. It’s now the sound of a bubble mower creak, creak, creaking as it spits out soapy bubbles onto the lawn. The sound of chalk shrieking across a pavement driveway.
That, my friends, is freedom from a winter cooped up in a house with a 4-year-old and her entourage, freedom from one’s legs being used as a My Little Pony stable, from one’s arms being wrenched out of the socket at random moments with pleas to drop everything you’re doing and please, please, please, please get me another yogurt drink.
Ah, spring, you gave me a break.
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