My children are currently besotted with the movie Ratatouille. I have no idea why. Admittedly, I am the one who ordered it from Netflix and I am the one who attempted to drum up enthusiasm for it before I popped it into the DVD player (“a funny RAT, you guys! A RAT!”), and then it came on and I remembered what it's actually ABOUT, which are all things my children have no concept of, like France and eating politely at nice restaurants and health code violations. AND YET. They CHOOSE it, even when offered other clearly superior choices.
The fact that I am writing about my childrens' poor taste in entertainment proves that not much has been happening lately. Lately, our days consist of errands and television and the occasional Advent activity that I hastily shove into the appropriate envelope about .06 seconds before the kids ask to open it. Then, I hunch over my computer and make packing lists. THIS IS MY WEEK, you guys. Listen, I love taking vacations, but I REALLY love the Prep Week BEFORE vacation. I already made Dave get the suitcases out of the attic. I already packed the snacks for the plane. For heaven's sake, I ALREADY GATHERED AND ASSEMBLED THE TOILETRIES. (We don't leave until Sunday.) I have had a few emails (I mean, I haven't been INUNDATED or anything) from people asking if I'll do a recap of our planning, and I will – after we get back and I see if any of my strategies were successful. I'd hate to prematurely advise you to do something, and then have to put an EMERGENCY STOP on the process once I got back.
Otherwise, yeahhhhh, it's pretty slow around here. Freelance work has all but dried up, too, so lately my evenings aren't even restful, they're just boring continuations of my days. I have been putting some serious thought into pursuing a new direction soon. Next year Asher will be in school full time and Lucy will likely be in preschool a few mornings a week, and I'm not necessarily going to dive head-first into full-time work or anything, but I do want to start preparing myself for something once they're BOTH in school full-time. The thing is, I'm not really sure I want to pursue a writing career. Not that I don't love writing, because I do, but I think I'm better at it when I'm doing it just for myself. And writing is something I like to do in spurts; I'm not particularly excellent at sitting down for an entire day and churning out copy – much less an entire WEEK at a time.
One of the things I've loved most about being a stay-at-home mom has been the MOVEMENT. We're always in motion, always going somewhere or experiencing something – we have very few days where we're just sitting around. I crave that in my daily life now. I want to be out and about, doing things and MOVING. And I'd really like to pursue a new job or career that involves way less sitting at a desk. I'm intrigued by so many things, though, that it's hard to decide which direction I'd like to go. Do I want to try professional organizing? Could I really manage nursing school? Or do I want to dedicate myself to non-profit or charity work? I feel like the options are ENDLESS, but I also feel enormous pressure to choose the RIGHT thing. Anyway, if you've been through something similar, or changed careers after having kids, I'd love to hear about it. I just can't imagine going back to copyediting at a desk for 40 hours a week. If I'm going to work full-time (eventually), then ideally (and yes, I know, IDEALLY), I'd like to find something that appeals to me at least half as much as being a stay-at-home mom does. COPYEDITING DOES NOT.
One cute story BECAUSE I CAN: Asher's preschool does a Christmas pageant every year, and the four-year-old class acts out the nativity. Perhaps you remember this from last year? Last year he was a sheep, a terrified sheep. He did not even look up during the entire pageant. It was heartwrenching to watch, seeing how awkward and out of place he felt. This year, however, is so different. He is SUCH a different kid, so much so that this year he has been cast as Joseph in the Christmas pageant. He came bounding out of school last week talking ALLLLLL about it. “I'm going to be Joseph, but it isn't going to be hard. I mostly just walk and then I pretend to sleep.” (I told my friend Christie that I wasn't sure why Joseph was asleep at any point in the pageant; she's all, “Probably right while Mary was in hard labor. TOTAL GUY.”) Then suddenly, a panicked look in his eyes: “MOM. The pageant is supposed to be a SECRET. I wasn't supposed to tell you who I am going to be! How about you just forget that I told you, okay?”
YOU GUYS. He's so GROWN UP and REASONABLE and HE'S GOING TO BE JOSEPH IN THE SCHOOL PLAY. My work here is done.