The times they are a-changin’. Allison is now officially a pre-K graduate and after nine years we are done with day care. Are we elated? Yes. Are we nervous? Yes. Are we sad? Maybe a little. Putting your child in day care is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t decision. But if you want to raise your kids, have a career, and have a life, you need some help. For the last nine years, we’ve gotten lots of help. The girls had a routine. They made friends. They grew up. They prepared for school. They built up ironclad immunities.
While day care was for the kids, it also ended up giving us, as new parents, a lot, too. Before day care we lived among the community, but not in the community. Before day care, we were those strangers that walked their dog and lived in that quiet house with well-tended flower beds. Before day care, we left on the 6:20 a.m. train and rarely returned before dark.
Leaving your 8-week old infant with virtual strangers is beyond hard. Day care provided us with a group of people going through the exact same thing. Oh, look, that Dad is also carrying his crying child inside by the ankle and his shirt has 4 different stains before 9 a.m., too. That weird red and purple rash? Don’t sweat it, my kid had it last week. It provided a safety net and a soft landing on those days where it seemed like the world was coming apart at the seams.
Most importantly, it turned many of those strangers, parents and teachers alike, into friends. It gave us dominoes nights and taco parties and the tumble bus and Oktoberfest and showed us every day that we weren’t alone or unique in this strange new journey called parenthood. It made us part of a community.
This weekend was supposed to be spent on the Cape with friends, but the weather decided to jump back to early April so we scuttled the plans. It left us with the rare unscheduled summer Saturday. Seriously, every weekend from now until Labor Day is booked. It’s terrifying.
So we started the day on the couch and the weather didn’t inspire us to move all that much.
After Michelle and I motivated to get our runs done, we decided to move from the couch to the comfy, stadium seating of the movie theatre to see Incredibles 2.
Musicals may be old hat, but movies are still strange, exotic experiences. They’ve actually seen more live theatre than films in the theatre.
Sign of the times, Ally is almost old enough now to weigh down the movie seat without help. It’s down to almost 25 degrees!
The original was one of my favorite Pixar films, but I gotta say the sequel felt a bit superficial. The kids loved it, but I felt like they bailed out of saying anything of consequence on modern parenting, changing gender roles or the guilt of working mothers. Now, the opening short, on the other hand, that was weird and memorable. We ended up talking more about that on the way home than the movie.
Exhibit #329 on why we don’t eat out more. These two fries were Ally’s lunch and I’m not sure she finished both. You might say, hey, cheap date, you should eat out more. Which is true, but the whining, emotional fallout of not eating is far worse than the $4.99 kids meal.
Still not over their fear of bugs, but finally over their fear of escalators.
Back home, back to the couch. It was that kind of day. To their credit, they listened to a story, not Netflix.
We went to church. The in’s and out’s of when we go to mass on Saturday and when we go on Sunday really messes with Ally’s head.
Back at home, it was dinner. Ally was able to eat! Finally! There was a lot of dramatic sighs all afternoon. I’m surprised she didn’t think of pretending to faint.
It was a lazy, dog’s life kind of day.
The day is gone, day care is done, but parenting will continue. It’s going to be strange not labelling all of Ally’s food next week.