School started yesterday. But my rejoicing at the return of Schedule, Certainty, Order, and The After School Program was tempered by this:
Maya: “Most of my friends go home right after school is over. Why can’t you pick me up then too?”
I knew this was coming and yet I was still unprepared. Because how do I explain to Maya that a 2:39 pm pick up is impossible, mainly because:
- I have this selfish need to feel productive…and picking up her clothes and toys from the floor does not make me feel productive.
- I need constant validation and work provides me with that.
- The lure of a steady paycheck isn’t exactly a deterrent.
- Putting together a 15 page cash forecast, complete with a linked amortization schedule and macros galore comes far easier to me than explaining 2nd grade math concepts like “carrying the one.”
- And most importantly: one of my biggest fears is waking up one morning, realizing that Maya is 16 and doesn’t need me anymore, and that I’m 16 years behind everyone else career-wise.
I, of course, said none of these things. Because while I am mostly clueless when it comes to my child, I am at least not insanely thoughtless. So instead I simply told Maya that “Mama has to go to work, that’s why.”
Anyway, despite my dubiously sound and somewhat selfish reasons above, one thing is 100% certain: I will feel guilty every minute of every weekday from 2:39 pm until I pick up Maya from after school care.
And that’s a fact.