I got a call today from my kids' school.
It went something like the scene from Temple of Doom where Mola Ram (creepy cult priest), pulls out a man's still-throbbing heart.
Actually it was the preface to that. It was the deleted scene where the would-be victim was asked if he would like to have his heart torn out in a fire cave by a guy wearing a horned skull, or if he would rather sit down to a lovely cup of tea and discuss the Prime Minister's Brexit strategy.
Here's the phone call.. word for word.
"Hello Mrs. Despain. Don't worry- there's no emergency". (Sad that they always feel like they need to lead with that...) "We are just calling as a courtesy to double check that you do, in fact, want to sign up your sweet angel/ last-of-your-womb/ gift from GOD/ baby boy for full-day kindergarten. There is a half day option for people who still like their kids.... (pause for effect) You understand that should you choose to continue with full-day registration, on the first day of school you will have one last chance to say goodbye before your baby is hauled away through the big boy school door into full grown kid-hood. At that time you will have your heart torn out by one of our volunteer Kali-cult priests in Ritual Sacrifice. Should you survive you will have visitation rights after school hours. Oh, and we'll be sending you the bill."
How do I answer that?
How does a good mother answer that?
How does an ambitious mother who needs more daylight hours answer that?
How does a mother who is both answer that?
I say,..... "Can I get back with you?"
And I and cry because I can't figure out if full-day kindergarten is for him or for me.
And I think that I am stupid that I cry over it.
And that makes me ugly cry because now I don't know if I am ambitious, a good mom, or just stupid.
So here I am: I am a good Mom. I am ambitious..... I am sometimes a little stupid.
I am also scared.
But, if there is one thing I am learning from this adulting thing... its that even being a little scared, and a little stupid, things work out.
They work out because I can own the scared, and the stupid, and step into the dark knowing that somehow things are never as hard as I think they are. I can embrace the unknown because it moves me to something new. Staying the same feels like a kind of suicide- It feels like I laid down dreaming, and passion and adventure and put a headstone over it. Rest isn't always peace.
I am realizing that this post has little to do with whether my son will benefit more from full, or part time kindergarten for a whopping 9 months out of his life.
I am also realizing that when I am agonizing over one thing... I am usually agonizing over something deeper. Today I am choosing between the familiar, and moving on to the next chapter in my life.
I am choosing between tea, and ritual sacrifice; But neither is really what is seems. I love a glass of mint tea and polite political conversation where I can share my completely unqualified opinions. But once my cup is drained and conversation has faded I know it is time to get up and do something hard.
Sometimes choosing to walk into pain, while your brain is screaming at you to go back and try the chamomile, is really hard.
I will have a phone call to make in the next two hours, and whatever my answer is I think it will be okay. I think WE will be okay.