A Few Days in October

There has been nothing momentous to write about over the last week but here are a few things that are important for me.

I went to watch my eight-year-old N’s first ever cross-country running meet last week. This is an optional event at school, and it seems that all the girls in N’s class signed up, which is a pretty positive form of peer pressure, don‘t you think? When I was a kid, only the elite runners ever ran cross-country, and I for one would never have considered joining this club. I took the afternoon off to be there for my daughter, and was able to spend some time with a gaggle of excited grade 3 girls as they waited for their race time. Seeing them made me realize that my girl is not little anymore, and she is just verging on being a tween. Her friends are very important to her and she wants to be a part of it all. Luckily her Mom is still important to her too, and is not yet an embarrassment to her. She willingly posed for photos with her friends, and gave me beautiful warm smiles as I admired this young and confident group of girls.

When it came time for N’s race, I watched as they all lined up together and then made their way over to the start line. These moments make me very emotional and I watched her walk away with her friends feeling proud and teary. My daughter is not a very competitive girl, and with the race being only 1.2 km, I knew this was not going to be her race. If it had been a 3 km race however, then watch out. She has long legs and endurance to match them. I would have loved to have watched her come into her own in a longer race. No matter, finishing near the front or near the back didn’t matter one bit that day. Every girl out there crossed the finish line with her face creased in determination, having done her best, and being cheered on by the crowds. Yes, I cried.

*****

My six-year-old, B, is sick. She has had a fever on and off for five days now. We keep thinking that she is better, and then back it comes. After taking last Thursday afternoon off for the cross-country meet, I took Friday off to be home with my sick girl. I think I will be home again tomorrow. These things always seem to happen when Tony is traveling for work too. Tonight I’m wondering if I should try to work from home tomorrow, or if I should just take the day with my girlie-girl. Will I feel more guilt for being away from work, or for not snuggling and playing with my daughter tomorrow?

Sigh.

*****

I don’t think we are made for this. I don’t think we are meant to have two parents working full-time with young-ish children. It is nonsensical to me. Between Tony and me, we took five years with one of us home with the girls. We took a big financial hit, yes, but our quality of life was better overall. Now both girls are in school full-time, and so it seems to make sense for us both to work. And yet… We run; we race; we struggle to do it all. I just don’t think it is supposed to be like this.

*****

We are just wrapping up Canadian Thanksgiving. I have a hard time being mushy when I write, even though on the inside I am a mass of gooey marshmallowy mushy mush. But I need to say that I am grateful for a lot of things. I am grateful for the health of my children (minor fevers aside). I am grateful to Tony who loves me unconditionally, even when I am grouchy and unreasonable. I’m grateful to my brother Paul and his lovely Tamara because they are the best siblings anyone could ever have. I’m grateful to my Mom who is beautiful inside and out and supports everything that we do, lovingly. I’m grateful to my Dad who takes good care of us, and who turns into a marshmallow himself when he is around his much adored grandchildren.

I have everything and I am so very grateful.

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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7 Responses to A Few Days in October

  1. Nat says:

    Having been “off work” since mid-Jan. I can say that it is much much easier with one parent home. It seems there is never a shortage of things to do and The Boy loves being picked up right from school as opposed to after care. Seems to make supper prep easier. As a family it feels more like a unit. I think it may be why it's taken me so long to find something to go back to… I just can't seem to wrap my mind around going back to what it was…

  2. Donna says:

    I hear you on the two parent working thing. We're struggling but it seems like it's the tradeoff we've agreed on.

    I cry whenever my daughters have those moments. Getting on the school bus.tears. Dance recital. tears. School concert. tears.
    and the kid is four…so these are all kinda minor in the grand scheme of things.

  3. Tamara says:

    The meet **was** great, wasn't it. 🙂

    I totally agree with the only one parent working thing. When Z went to school full time I thought about going back, but being a part of her school life by volunteering, having her home for lunch, and having friends after school has more than made up for the hit in cash. It really is the best decision if a family can swing it.

  4. Pauline says:

    I'm glad your daughter had a good time at the race and hope the other one gets better soon!

    It is difficult with both partners working to maintain a house and take care of the family. (And yes, I struggle with it too, even though my 'family' consists of pets)
    If I could work from home, I would do it in a second!

  5. I loved hearing about your daughter's meet. It's nice to know that peer pressure can have positive results too.

    And I appreciate hearing your reflections on Canadian Thanksgiving. It sounds like you have a lot to be thankful for – as, I'm sure, do all of the people that have you in their lives.

  6. My daughter is cross-country training too – I love to see the kids doing stuff.

    We stuggle too with the 2-working-parent thing: it feels like there are never enough hours in the day, and so much to do. Life would definitely be easier if one of us were home full-time. But two incomes helps with swmming, camping, karate, etc. Oh yeah, and food:)

  7. Alison says:

    I loved the bit about the Cross Country run. My oldest (also grade 3) also went to a Cross Country run meet last month. And so did almost everyone in her class 🙂
    I think the Cross Country approach schools take now (EVERYONE gets to go, the best 5 go to the championships) is so much better than having only the best go (I remember NEVER getting to go to these things. Didn't even try). It has given my not-so-competitive daughter a chance to be a part of a school athletic event, and may have given her the courage to try again.

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