This week was a big week of firsts for our house. J.J. is back in NYC today recording his first real album of his music. Today is his second day of studio time with his trio, and the album will be mostly his jazz compositions and a few fun covers (Phil Collins?). It's a project that he's been working on since we started dating, and he won a huge grant to get him into the studio. He's doing great work.
While I'm proud of him, his muse is having a major motherhood reality-check manning the homestead alone for a few days. As always happens, these three days have also been three of our most busy and challenging, pretty much ever since kids arrived on the scene.
Peter's big first this morning was his first day of school! He has been looking forward to this day for months, and I can't believe it is finally here. He's been trying to ensure for the last several days that "Mommy go with me to school," so I was nervous about how it would go. He was amazing, though! I was fortunate that my super generous friend Anna offered to come over and handle the little ones while I took him there, so that we could have an easy drop-off.
He shocked me when we arrived by happily jumping out of the car and heading into the building with his Guide (that's what theyc all the teachers in Montessori...just to be different, as far as I can tell). He did pause for a second to turn around, give me a wave and a "Bye bye, Mommy!" **Heart breaks HERE**. I was so proud of him.
I was also proud of myself for holding it together until I pulled out of the drop-off line. Then, sure enough, I burst into tears. I never thought I would be that mom! Last night when he was making me want to jump out the window during bath time, I was counting the minutes until I could get him out of the house. But this was new. This was hard. I'm sure every mom who has sent their kids to school for the first time knows what I'm talking about. Seeing my little guy stroll into his school with such confidence, after having given the last 3+ years of my life to keeping him happy and safe and loved, I felt an achy happy-sad-lonely-liberated-all-at-the-same-time feeling that was very new, but I'm predicting I'll feel it many more times during my motherhood. And as J.J. said, at least only one of us was crying.
This morning before he left, when I was still worried about him missing me, I gave him a special rosary to keep in his pocket. I told him that if he missed me during he day to touch his rosary and tell Mary that he missed me and that she would let me know. Maybe that's not quite theologically sound, but it's making me feel better to know that he has a way to connect with me if he's nervous. And it makes me so thankful to our Blessed Mother for keeping an eye on both of us today.
Mary Frances is experiencing her first morning without her bestie and camp leader around. For the first hour or so she wandered around the house calling "Peta?? Peta!" and asking "Where Peta, Mamma?" She's a little lost without him, but I'm so excited for her to have some more one-on-one time with me and a little independence from his sometimes overbearing leadership and, well, bullying. The house certainly feels a little emptier without him, but it's oh so quiet.
James' big first today was his maiden voyage in the double chariot. He slept happily the whole way so I think it suits him.
Which brings me to another of my own big firsts. After the drama of the drop-off I loaded the little ones into the stroller and walk/jog/crawled my way through my first couch to 5K workout! I'm not actually signed up for a 5K, but I felt like maybe the program would be a nice introduction to running. This was also really hard for me. By the end, my eyelids were sweating. That's not even normal. But I DID IT. This is huge, because last time I hit 6 weeks postpartum, I was just about bedridden from being crippled by and autoimmune disease (more about that another time). But thanks to good drugs and an improved attitude and determination, I not only am walking around my house able to take care of the kids, but I jogged (!!!!!!!!!). For 90 seconds at a time and cursing under my breath, granted, but God is so good to have me up and out and about.
My final first of the week is my first time back at any sort of outside job since I got married and pregnant with Peter. On Monday I started working at Peter's new school running the extended day program. The awesome directors of the school offered me the position as an exchange for the very pricey tuition, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to send Peter to a great school and to work at a part-time job where I can have all of my kids in tow. It hasn't been perfect, but I'm going to give it a few weeks to see if we're just getting the hang of a new set up or if it's just going to be too much for my little crew. Either way, even though the afternoons are LOOOOOOOONG, it's nice to have a destination.
I'm pretty pleased that we've all survived our big changes for these first few days, but thank goodness J.J. will be home tomorrow!