Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gratitude Schmatitude

I began last week feeling sentimental. Some of the parents with children around Amari's age have been talking about pre-school - which ones are good, which ones suck, which days does so-and-so go, etc. I realized I was only about six months away from researching these same questions, making a seemingly monumental decision, and ultimately bringing to an end my reign of terror as a full-time stay-at-home parent.

I decided that Monday morning that I would appreciate every single moment I had left with Amari - the relaxing, easy mornings, the long, lazy afternoons, and all the challenging, willful, whiny moments in between. Time moves fast, things change all the time, so I may as well enjoy it all. I was positive, hopeful, and determined.

Tuesday morning, Amari decided that 5:30 was the perfect time to start our day. Less than six hours of sleep under my belt, I grabbed my attitude of gratitude, and headed downstairs. "Wow," I said to myself somewhat unconvincingly, "This is awesome. The sun is starting to rise, there's mist over the coral, and I'm pretty sure that's a rooster crowing the dawn. This is awesome." Amari and I watched cartoons, read books, greeted Mom, and drank lots of coffee, and headed out for the morning. We went to The Gardens, met up with friends, picked blackberries, and did yard work. It was a great day, and by the afternoon I'd forgotten how early it started. I was grateful for the opportunity to spend so much time with a daughter who was heading for school soon. Life was good.

Wednesday morning Amari upped the ante, deciding 4:00 felt like an even better time to wake up. This time gratitude was not the first feeling I had. I think my exact thought was, "Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously? Go back to sleep. Jesus." Beaten down by a lack of sleep, I dragged myself out of bed and moped downstairs where I stared bitterly into the darkness. "This sucks," I thought sincerely, "This fucking blows. It's dark and I'm awake. And that goddamn rooster doesn't shut up all night. I wish Michael Vick had been into cock fighting." And other random angry thoughts. That morning also had cartoons, books, grumpier greetings to Mom, and an early nap where we both lay on the couch and slept for two hours.

The rest of the week was much smoother. I did appreciate things as much as I could and during the difficult moments I just convinced myself that she's preparing me to let go. Come January, pre-school won't seem so scary at all - to either of us.

Soon she'll be riding for real...

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