So eight years of baby making, baby raising, cooking, cleaning, hyper-budgeting, bad hair and fingerprinted walls go by… and all of the sudden it’s time.
Holy shit, is it really time to leave my mommy bubble and re-enter the grownup world? My youngest is going to get on the bus and go to school. What the hell am I supposed to do when I’m not racing to drop off and pick up one of my three children from their various schools and programs every two hours, five days a week? Who is going to drive Mom’s Taxi?
Oh yea. A bus driver!
The fear and excitement cancelled each other out and left me numb and mystified at the prospect of what might be next on my motherhood timeline.
Was it actually time to go to work? I hadn’t gotten up and gone to work-work since I was Erin.
Who is she? I’m Mommy! I don’t even know who Erin is!
That girl Erin didn’t care if there was gunk in the bathtub drain. She wasn’t settled into a rigid schedule that ensured that everything happened on time, or at least as close to on time as one could hope for. That person didn’t have a girl scout troop to run, or a laundry pile named Mount Washmore that would never, ever be finished. That person just went to work or school every day. She even went and hung out with her friends when it wasn’t somebody’s birthday. She slept until noon every day that she had nowhere to be, and you could just about count on the fact that she would be late getting anywhere you expected to see her.
Can THIS person simply wake up in the morning and… dare I say it… take a shower and leave?? Inconceivable!
I spoke to my kids and the same three adults every day, with the occasional random phone call or the exchange of niceties with a fellow stay-at-home-mom at preschool pick up or at the supermarket.
Can I be friends with new work people? Will I be like some weird shut-in cult member that doesn’t understand proper socialization? How do office politics work now? Did manners change? Am I old fashioned? Or will I be like a giant, stupid baby that doesn’t know how to work new computers? What version of Microsoft Works are we up to?
My son could not get on that bus.
But the bus was coming, and there was nothing I could do to stop it…
Then I got this great job offer to work part time for the county. It was all set. I could start when school started. I could leave when they left for school. I could be home when they got off the bus. It was the perfect transition job to get me back out into the world without massive bouts of separation anxiety for all of us. I made the commitment. The week after school started, Mommy was going to start using her first name again.
And then the call came.
“Hello, this is your son’s school calling. We’re going to need you to come get him.”
Was he sick?
Was he injured?
Did he think it would be a good idea to use a school bus seat belt like a lasso and clock some poor, unsuspecting five year old in the jaw with a solid piece of steel?
Yup. That’s what he did. That is exactly what he did.
We made it two days.
Sooooo luckily my future employer was more than understanding about the whole ‘boys will be boys’ thing, and totally understood that my boy needed a ride to school and a serious lesson in common sense before my ‘future’ could begin.
I’m a very lucky woman, because I showed up for my first official day of work in eight years about two weeks late and I still had a job waiting for me.