Things have been all kinds of crazy up in here lately, and while I have been reading, it’s been SLOOOOOOW GOOOOOING. A little background on why.
A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I started (merely started!) the conversation about Sarah Returns to Work: The Sequel. (I’ve been at home with the kids for six years now. Before that, I taught school.) We began
fighting talking about things
like after-school childcare and how my salary would have to offset the cost of
that and how Mike would have to cook half of the time and when would I get to
exercise and which days Mike would have to go to work early so he could get
home early enough to pick up kids at 3:10 and who would do the karate carpool
and and and and AND.
And then. Almost immediately there was this fabulous job listing I saw, by chance, on Facebook, of all places, and I realized that I was completely qualified for it. It seemed fun, and nearby, with good pay and even better hours (Fridays off – HOLLA), and creative, and most importantly NOT TEACHING.
So I wrote a letter and sent the guy my (pathetically outdated) resume, and he wrote me back, like, immediately. Like within the half hour. And the next day, I had an interview.
Next I had a second interview, and then a third. And I nailed them all. Not to mention, all my interview outfits were killer. Plus, I got Iris into a five-day Pre-K program nearby and had even found childcare to pick her up each day. All things were aligning, and on my Magic Eight ball, all signs pointed to YES.
So I started getting really excited.
(An aside: Prior to this experience, I have never actually wanted to go back to work. Never. In fact, for six years, the idea, the mere mention of returning to a job has made me feel physically nauseous. I’ve loved being at home, and my number one motivation in returning to work has always been financial. So this feeling of possibility, of real-live actual excitement, was unprecedented and completely unexpected. I wanted this job. All of a sudden, I really wanted this job.)
The next day they called. I didn’t get it.
(In the midst of this, there were the end-of-summer blues. The kids were making me crazy what with their constant begging for screen time and snacks. (I am so over snacks. I feed them three times a day. THAT SHOULD BE MORE THAN ENOUGH.) Plus, the bickering. Over such pivotal issues as You are in my chair and That is my headband and I want the purple cup. Lord have mercy. This year, the first day of school was RIGHT IN THE NICK OF TIME.)
(And just for fun, then Mike threw out his back and spent an entire weekend on the couch with a heating pad. [Note my complete loss for words, here.])
So for a few days, I was . . . existing. Trying to regroup, trying to see the reason for all this upheaval and confusion and complication. I know that God has a plan for me, and it doesn’t always jive with my own plan; I know that the entire freaking country is getting job rejections; I know that I’m lucky that we have food on our table and school supplies in the backpacks and air-conditioning in our home . . . but none of this makes disappointment easier to bear. So all I could do was pray. Pray that despair wouldn’t take over. And I’m doing better now, I really am. There are possibilities on the horizon. I know this. I’m just trying to remember it.
I guess this is a long-winded explanation of what’s been going on in my life that has nothing to do with reading. I did read Alice Sebold’s The Almost Moon, and when I saw it on the shelf at Half Price Books my initial reaction was “Hey! Why didn’t anyone tell me Alice Sebold wrote another book! I’ve been waiting for this for years!” (I loved Lucky, and I really really really loved The Lovely Bones.) However, apparently I’m totally clueless because The Almost Moon was actually published in 2007 (uh, hello?). So I’m about five years late to the party, which is pretty typical. Anyway, here’s my assessment: Bleh. Yep, that’s about it. I mean, it’s about a lady who murders her demented mother (and by “demented” I mean it in the literal way, as in suffers from dementia, as opposed to meaning it in the Gothic way, as in It puts the lotion in the basket and A boy’s best friend is his mother and Redrum!), stuffs her in the basement freezer, and then seduces her best friend’s son in the front seat of her car. Good times. Bleh.
However, there are positive things going on, too, I promise. For example, here’s what happens when school starts. I have time to do something other than divvy out goldfish crackers into specifically-requested colored plastic cups.
(It is no coincidence that I finished this dress the very first day the children were gone at school, as I’m sure you are aware.) The pattern is from the book Simple Modern Sewing, and I must note here that whoever came up with the first word of the title is full of bullshit. But the dress turned out cool, I think. And I learned how to do a facing! And darts! Stop the madness.
Also, I’ve discovered This American Life. (See also: Five years late to the party. Or twenty, in this case.) More importantly, I got the TAL app and it’s the best $2.99 I’ve spent all summer.
And finally, in other, happier reading news, Eloise has discovered Harry Potter. And she is in love.
She read the first book in one day, and then devoured the next two later that same week. And at the risk of sounding completely cheesy, I have to say that sharing the first movie with her was one of the best nights of parenting, so far. It was complete magic and sparked so much fun discussion: “Mom, is that how you pictured Hogwarts? Because that’s exactly what I thought it would look like!” and “Can you believe how big Hagrid is? How did they do that?” and “Oh, Mom! I wish I had a snowy white owl just like Hedwig!” and “I don’t think Hermione’s hair is that frizzy, do you?” And so on. Not to mention platform nine and three quarters. I tell you what, when you’re starting the second grade, the fractions? NOT SO MUCH. That shizzle is BLOWING HER MIND.
But the best quote of the week from Eloise was this: “You know what, Mom? When I read Harry Potter books, I feel like I’m drowning. But in a good way. In a way where I just can’t think of anything else. I’m just that interested in it.”
I know. I feel the same way.