I'm beginning to covet my weekends with Ben in such a way that I don't want to do anything else except be with him. Healthy? I'm not sure. Let me explain:
Weekdays are a blur at our house when I have Ben. It's up early, hurry to pack lunches and gather work items, drive to school, drive home or to the club, see clients until lunchtime, drive back to school, drive home, unpack lunch, assignments, school communications, have a snack, re-pack gym back for evening work, pass Ben off to my mom with dinner instructions, fly out the door in the late afternoon for evening sessions, hurry home to give Ben his bath, his reading time, and tuck him in. Clean up the kitchen, confirm clients for the next day, fold laundry, return emails and fall into bed. Repeat for three days. The only exception to this schedule is when we have soccer and that gets even harrier, as far as logistics go.
I don't feel like myself during the week. I don't know who I feel like but I don't like her very much. Not grounded, edgy, short-tempered, always looking toward the next deadline: "Where do I have to be and when?"
Labor Day weekend was the first weekend I've had with Ben since school started. It was a busy weekend, filled with kid-centered activities, but in retrospect, I realized how much we both needed that time together. I think Ben acknowledged this too, when he said: "Mommy, I want to come back to the park with you next weekend alone. Just with you. No friends." And here I thought I was doing a good thing by giving him lots of play time with his good friend, Ean. I underestimate how much 5-year-olds also need one-on-one time.
I feel like I'm making some pretty heavy decisions for myself right now relative to time. Time that I have with Ben, particularly. There's nothing that can give me the satisfaction that I get from spending time with him. For a long time, I felt like I was looking, always searching for someone, something that could "stand in" for the time that I spend without Ben. And I have yet to find it.
Labor Day weekend brought me some clarity. I can't ever get this time back. As fun as it might be to schedule an exciting date or run off to San Francisco for a yoga class, that decision means I'll miss something. It might only be a re-run of "Tom and Jerry" or a dinner of grilled cheese and I know it sounds drastic to curtail my social activities so that I can have time with my son but it's also the way that my heart is leading me.
When I dropped Ben off at school on Tuesday morning, I got back in the car and choked back tears. I hate saying good-bye to that cute little guy, I hate sharing him. But I also had the sense that I had given so much over the weekend that there was nothing, absolutely nothing at all, to regret about our time together. Despite the sadness, I'll take many, many more weekends like that.