I woke up the other day and realized my life is shrinking. Does that make sense? It made sense to me and it makes even more now, but I'm not sure I could ever explain it to anyone else. It's not a bad shrink, it's not a negative shrink... it's just a shrink. It's smaller. As I sit on my small chair, reflecting on my shrinking life, I am smiling. It's a grin I've never known before. It's unfamiliar to me and it feels nice on my face. Stick with me, I do have a point!
When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a "play-date"; it was called get the hell out of the kitchen and go play ...with your friends! We had a bell that hung outside our front door that my mother would proudly ring at dinnertime, informing us we had exactly five minutes to get home--or else!
It was a small town, a simpler time and a lot less protected than I could have ever imagined a life could be. Over the past seven days, Isla's been out of school for her version of summer break. Remember... she's only four. I haven't had much time for writing, reading, cooking, thinking or anything remotely resembling me time--and I KNOW all my mom and dad bloggers/followers out there know what THAT means!
So there I was, with a toddler and NO PLANS--because I was the idiot mom that forgot school was coming to an end. Lucky for me, I've made some pretty cool friends in my life who now have super cool kids that mine can play with. The only difference is, Atlanta ain't no small town! I'm six miles from the world, but sometimes it takes 30-40 minutes to get there... and then you hit traffic. No matter, when you have an only child who needs a friend, you do what you gotta do. So I drive. A lot.
As we schlepped back and forth from house to park to grocery, I thought about how much work it's gonna be for me to maintain these friendships for my daughter. How much traffic I'm gonna have to endure so that she may maintain the most important friendships of her life. Do I keep it up? Do I pick up, drop off, deliver and return all of these little princesses so that mine is fulfilled? The hesitation is as remote as the dinner bell my mother used to ring. It's in the distance... I can hear it, but I’m not going to answer. I'm in my mid-forties. I'm exhausted. I'm sitting in my tiny chair... and I'm smiling, despite it all.