August 17, 2005
Let the self-flagellation begin!
At the risk of being over-dramatic (because if YOU want that, I can SO GO THERE, just say the word!), I suck at being perfect.
Not that I am perfect. Oh, no, never have been and never will be.
BUT ... I have a dream. I have a dream that someday, everything I plan will execute flawlessly. I have a dream, misguided though it might be, that I can actually DO everything that I have to do and not stumble here and there.
I also have a dream that every one of my multiple personalities will get along and have a nice little picnic and play bocce ball on the lawn without a drunken brawl breaking out but, hey, my family can't even do that, how can I expect my selves to?
Oh well ... I've got to go back to work tomorrow and here is where the self-flagellation comes in. Usually on teacher workdays my kids come with me to school ... or at least one kid. Sometimes I split them up, bringing one and leaving the other with my mom. She can't take them both at once and, depending on the day, neither can I. Well, I totally screwed up this week. Here I am, going back to school where SO much work awaits me, and I didn't even think about where the kids were going to go. I just assumed they would come with me.
The problems arise when I looked closely at my schedule for the first week. Tomorrow: staff luncheon at Outback. Friday: day long, county-wide media coordinators meeting. Umm ... yeah ... can't bring the kids.
Now I don't know how you feel about leaving your kids home alone but I have very strong feelings about it. I was left home alone a LOT when I was a kid. While they were still there, my older brothers and sister would babysit me, which meant I was put in front of the TV with a jar of olives to watch Speed Racer and the Banana Splits while they went down into the basement and got drunk or stoned with their friends.
When all the free, live-in babysitters moved out, I was left home alone. I was 10. Even with the semblance of safety that my close-knit neighborhood had in those days, I should have never been alone as much as I was. It didn't help me be more independant. It didn't help me fight back when I had a babysitter that took advantage of me.
I wasn't as scared at home alone as I should have been but you have to remember that these were the pre-razor-blades-in-the-apple for Halloween days. The world was a different place and my mom just trusted that everything would be alright. Where was that old Catholic guilt? I'll tell you where. It skipped her generation and came RIGHT TO ME!
Yes, I feel like an incredibly bad mother for even thinking of leaving my kids home alone. Sometimes I don't have a choice, though. I live 1/10 of a mile from work ... my kids have to pass 2 houses and cross a street to get to the school. Everyone at the school knows them and the kids know that, in case of emergency, the school is a safe place.
But ... and this is important ... I never wanted my kids to be latchkey kids. I chose this career so that I would be home at the same time as them, on weekends, holidays and all summer. And I realize that leaving them home alone for a day does not mean they are latchkey kids but I'm having a hard time relaxing about it.
Besides, if my son looks at my daughter wrong when I'm not here, she will rip out his skull and beat him to death with it, no matter how physically impossible that seems.
Guess I better make sure the emergency numbers are updated.