Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The First Day Of The Rest Of Our Lives

Four days later as the clock inched toward 10:15 a.m. today at the Tualatin city library, it hit me. As the 18 moms, two grandpas, one other dad and 23 kids all sang and pantomimed their arm movements to resemble swimming during the playing of Laurie Berkner's "Let's Go Swimming," it finally hit me ... I don't have a job.

It didn't hit me Friday afternoon - I was too stunned. It didn't hit me this weekend because the weekends always are chaotic. It didn't hit me yesterday because we are attempting to ween Paige off daycare as she's going to miss her teachers and friends terribly, so we treated the day like any other Monday and sent her off to "school." Surprisingly, it didn't hit me at 7:49 a.m. as Paige chose her pink boots, then said, "No pink boots!" as I attempted to get her ready so we could walk Lucy to the bus stop. After pulling out and attempting to pry her brown boots on her thrashing feet to no avail, Lucy informed us in her best patronizing tone that the bus just went up the hill, which means we have about three minutes to get where we need to be. It's not surprising it didn't hit me at this point, Paige always does this with her shoes. You'd think she was inserting her feet into tiny vessels filled with shards of glass. Finally...mercifully...the original pink boots went on as she extended her hand and said, "Come on, let's go daddy," as if this all were my fault.

But in that enclosed room in the library, that's where it happened. The kids were dancing. The parents were clapping and all I could think was, "Has anyone over the age of 3 ever spontaneously started sobbing in this room?" I stayed strong if only because I didn't want to show weakness to the 1-year-old kid using my leg as a balance before she stammered backward and cascaded down on her covered diaper.

Paige never really seemed comfortable during story time. She didn't interact with the kids. She was the outsider as everyone else seemed to know each other. She sat quietly, which she hasn't done since...well...um...never. After 35 minutes, it was over. Paige raced over and said, "I want to go home." For the first time in ages, we agreed on something. Within seconds we were back to reality - she was screaming at me in the car for "green yogurt" as if the congealed dairy product magically would fall from the dome light and provide her a reason for living.

I have no idea if Paige and I will have a couple of weeks at home together, or a couple of months, or longer. But I can tell you this - we will be back at that library next Tuesday morning and with a week of uninterrupted togetherness under our belts and a better understanding of our roles, we may even start swimming when instructed by the insanely catchy music of Laurie Berkner.

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