The Finish Line

Thing 2 & Jenny Xmas 2009

My favorite picture of Thing 2 and me, taken Christmas 2009 by Kristen Bons

Thing 2 starts preschool on Monday. After 3 ½ years of her glued to my hip on an almost daily basis, I’ve been asked a lot how I feel about this.

Right now I feel like I feel when I’m running, and just trying to make it to a certain predetermined goal before I stop or slow down. I can see my finish line. I usually feel like I’m going to throw up, because I usually push myself too far. I mute my ipod because the music becomes a distraction rather than a motivation. All efforts are put toward moving forward, each step, not stopping, knowing that once I make it, I will be better for it. Stronger. Able to go further or faster the next time.

That’s what I feel like right now. All I can see is the finish line. This race that I have been running for the last three years of trying to be a decent wife, mommy, and homemaker while simultaneously trying to launch a career in online political punditry, with no nanny or daycare.

I wouldn’t trade it, but most days there just aren’t enough hours. It is completely frustrating in one moment, and ultimately joyful in the next. Thank God for a cute husband that doesn’t mind if the laundry doesn’t all get put away, or stopping to pick up dinner on his way home.

Also thank God for Coke Zero, Advil, Clear Eyes, and sauvignon blanc.

And of course, these amazing little girls, who can drive me up the wall but also knock me over with laughter. This morning, I asked Thing 2 where Jesus lived, and she happily told me, “Um, in da Bible!” How cute and sweet is that?

A year or two ago, I took the girls dress shopping with me, and in the fitting room, Thing 1 told me I looked ready for the ball in a blue taffeta dress I was trying on. I bought it and every time I wear it, I feel ready for the ball.

I have a thousand memories like these; they are the moments that have made this achy tiredness worth it. Because right now? Right now I’m tired. I am ready to have some time to do my work with a small amount of peace.

My finish line is 16 whole hours a week to work without my eye twitching from being interrupted 27 times a minute with requests for snacks, announcements of bodily functions, demands for TV and/or junk food and the subsequent tantrums that occur when the answer is no.

I bet you I’ll be able to pack the majority of the 30 or so hours a week I work now into that time.

So on Monday, I will cross the line with a goodbye wave and a kiss to my baby, and I will clutch my side and catch my breath and feel the rush of accomplishment wash over me. I will thank God for my health and (relative) sanity, and I will sit and ponder what goal I shall set for myself next.

Because as hard as that last stretch always is … I do love to cross the finish line.