I leave the house early early and shorten office hours to spend time with my kids who are on their Spring Break (which is never the same as my Spring Break, but I've had Spring Break every year since 1986 so I'm not complaining).
Two minutes after the sitter leaves the house, both of my normally happy kids are twisting and climbing around me with complaints like sticky thorns... what is there to DO? Where are we going to GO? But I'm BORED!....
So I packed the kids off to Michael's Craft Store, telling them I was going to buy plastic flowers for our yard because Tita said they use them in Cuba and it really works.
They believe me.
So the three of us walked around that store for a good hour while I picked up 50% Daisies (in teal, in white, in orange, in purple, in black, in pink) and then Irises and then Petunias and matched them in bunches and them in rows and considered them and put them down.
Then decided I couldn't live without them and generally pretended that I would really stick plastic flowers outside my house without the supervision of a real Cuban.
In between all of that general wandering around, we find cheap things for the kids to do and make.
Of course, I didn't buy the plastic flowers. In my entire life I have never been seized (more than once or twice) with the urge to buy plastic flowers. And that was the 1990s. And I've put that all behind me.
$11 later and we are home, each kid armed with 50% off craft supplies and happy mood from a nice car drive on a sunny day.
This means one thing. Time off for Mommy.
I know, I know, in real camp, someone would supervise the children.
But I taught the Vietnam War this morning. I shaved my legs, I've had meetings.
My 9-5 is 5-1, and it's already 4pm and I have another shift (dinner, whatever, darkness, sleep) before repeating it all tomorrow. I slip away from the happy kids to take off my dress, take off my heels and put on my yoga pants.
I cuddle with a pillow and watch to the Series Finale to Big Love, listening every now and then to the chirping happy-craft-day-at-camp kid voices coming from the room.
I get thirsty and push pause, and leave my warm soft TV spot.
Just as I'm turning the corner I hear Zoe telling Zack (in a sugary sweet hushed tone extra nice nice way), "Remember you're not going to tell Mommy..."
So I bang my fist on the wall, causing them both to jump.
"Tell me, what? That you LOVE me?"
And they laugh, because that isn't what they were talking about at all.
We laugh together and suddenly it does feel like camp again, like last summer when we were all rested and relaxed.
I sneak back to my lunch break before the next shift -- dinner, whatever, whatever, darkness -- and watch the end of Big Love, then, because the kids were so happy, I got to write for a little while.